Air conditioners are pretty complicated mechanisms, which makes it all the more impressive that most of us never have to think about them very much. When you live in an apartment or a condo, all you have to do is stick a small air conditioner in the window and turn it on – and it just works! There are other types of air conditioners that also work to cool down small spaces.
8 Misconceptions About the Cost of AC For Your Apartment or Condo
However, because we don’t spend much time thinking about air conditioners, there are plenty of myths, little-known facts and misconceptions floating around about AC solutions for apartments. Here are a few of the most common:
- Turning the thermostat lower will make the AC cool your apartment faster
Air conditioners don’t slowly ramp up and down when they cool your apartment. They’re either running at 100 percent or not at all. The thermostat keeps track of the temperature inside your home and decides when to turn the AC unit on and off in response to changes in temperature. So the only reason you need to turn the thermostat down is you want it to be cooler inside than what it was already set at.
Tip: If you are getting too warm, say, because you have a lot of guests in one room and the AC isn’t responding to it, it’s probably because the temperature sensor isn’t in that room and can’t tell that it’s so warm in there. Turn a box fan on from an unoccupied part of your apartment or condo into the occupied room. By using the box fan in the vacant space in your apartment, the fan will spread the heat and make the thermostat’s temperature reading more accurate.
- Bigger air conditioners are always better
While this seems so obvious that it must be true, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Air conditioners do more than just cool the air; they also dehumidify it. If they didn’t, it would be cool, humid and clammy inside your home. To put it bluntly, that’s uncomfortable. An oversized air conditioning unit will cool your house quickly, but as a result, it won’t dehumidify your air.
The best thing you can do is work with experts to figure out the best AC options for your apartment, condo or house. If you give us a call to set up a visit for a new AC installation to replace an older one, or for a consultation, we can help you work out what you need. Plus, an appropriately sized apartment or condo air conditioning unit costs less than an oversized one that won’t do as good of a job.
- If the AC is working properly, you don’t need to do anything else
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our AC units until something goes wrong with it and we’re left without any cooling at all. An unworkable AC unit usually happens at the worst possible time – at the height of summer or when there are lots of guests warming up the house. Then you need to go without until you can get an emergency service visit, which can be costly and is inconvenient.
- Turning off the AC when you’re out will save energy
When you’re not home, turning off the air conditioner sounds like a foolproof way to save a little on electricity, even if you have to run the AC a little harder when you get home. While, it is slightly more energy efficient to do this, but it will end up straining the AC unit more than it would if you leave it on all day. And because air conditioners also dehumidify the air, you’ll also be allowing the interior of your apartment or condo to get more humid than it otherwise would.
The best thing to do is to reduce (turn up) the air conditioner’s cooling setting, but not to completely turn it off, when you’re away. You can either do it manually by setting the AC to a higher temperature while you’re away, or by investing in a programmable thermostat that you can pre-program to turn the temperature up during the times of day when you’re usually not around and bring it back down a few minutes before you usually get home.
- It’s not worth it to repair malfunctioning air conditioning units
It’s true that sometimes an air conditioning unit is too far gone and it would be more fiscally responsible to just replace it. However, this is not true most of the time. Whatever has gone wrong with a given AC unit is most likely to be relatively inexpensive and easy to fix. Before you replace your unit, we do free service calls for our clients and could very well bring your air conditioner back from the dead!
- Air conditioners don’t wear out when they’re not running
Machines like air conditioner units are designed for regular, heavy use. While working them too hard can certainly tax them and wear them out, letting them sit for too long is also bad for them. Before it gets so warm that you need the AC, it’s a good idea to run the air conditioner to see whether it’s still working properly. If so, great! If not, you’ll need to have it looked at and repaired. Given how harsh the Phoenix summer can be, you’ll be happy to have done this sooner rather than later.
- Closing the vents in unused rooms on a central air conditioning system saves energy
Why spend the money cooling a room that you’re not using? It might seem that simple, but central air conditioners work by air pressure. When you close that vent, the system will still be pumping just as hard, but now will be experiencing greater back pressure than it was before, which can over-strain the compressor and even cause moisture to freeze onto the condenser. Then the air conditioner will turn itself on and off constantly without cooling your apartment or condo well, if at all. To fix it, you’ll have to completely shut down the AC system, allow the ice to melt and take care of the built-up water. It’s not worth it.
- Ceiling fans can cool rooms down
Fans don’t cool the air. All they do is move it around and cause a wind chill effect, which does make you feel more relaxed by wafting away all the warm air that builds up around you. They are an excellent way to make sure that cooled, conditioned air reaches every part of your home, which is especially useful when you’re running a window or portable air conditioning unit.
Tip: If a new, high-tech air conditioner for the condo you just purchased looks too expensive for your budget, we can help you finance it. Even if you have a low credit score or little to no credit history, we can help you work out a financing solution that works for your needs.
Need AC Help in Phoenix? Call ACE!
Air conditioning knowledge isn’t rocket science, but plenty of it’s counterintuitive if you’re not an HVAC expert. You could spend years becoming an HVAC expert – and if you’ve already done that, we might have a job for you – but that’s not necessary. Educating yourself a little bit is more than enough for most people. For the big problems, installations and maintenance, we at ACE Home Services can take care of it for you. Call (602) 943-2000 or click here to schedule an appointment today.