Four Air Conditioning Myths about Health and Money

Posted on: 24 September 2015


Perhaps it's because they have only become really common in the last few decades while heaters have been ubiquitous for much longer, but there are a lot of strange ideas out there about air conditioning. Perhaps you've heard one of the following myths; if you hear them in the future, now you'll know how to debunk them.

A Cold Home Can Give You a Cold

This one probably has its roots in the idea that cold temperatures lead to colds in people, but there's no truth in this. In fact, the link between feeling cold and having a cold is an old wives' tale. In fact, when it comes to health, air conditioners are actually recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as they can prevent potentially fatal heat stroke.

Some people have heard a slight variation on this myth: going from a cold house to a hot outdoors can make you sick because of the change in temperature. But this one isn't any more true; while it may be uncomfortable when you first step outside, the alternative is to be uncomfortable both inside and outside.

Bigger Is Better When It Comes to Cooling

An HVAC contractor can tell you exactly the right size of air conditioner for the size of your home. Getting a bigger air conditioner doesn't mean better cooling for your home. In fact, an air conditioner that's too big for the space it's cooling will probably cycle on and off repeatedly throughout the day, reducing its efficiency and even leading to icing on the coils as it fails to dehumidify the air properly.

Air Conditioners Lower Air Quality

As long as you change the filters in your air conditioner and take care of any necessary maintenance, air conditioners actually improve the air quality in your home. Since they allow you to close your windows, they help keep out traffic fumes and air pollution from outdoors. And since they run your air through a filter when they cool it, they actually remove particulates from the air.

However, again, it's important that you do keep up with filters and maintenance. If you don't check your filter monthly and replace it if necessary, it may become clogged and useless. And if your air conditioner begins to ice up or leak and you don't have it repaired, you may end up with mold growth or toxic fumes within your home.

Combining Ceiling Fans with Air Conditioning Can Save Money

This one is true—but only in one specific way. It's crucial to understand that ceiling fans don't cool the air; they move the existing air over your skin, which cools you. That means that if your air conditioner is running and you turn on a ceiling fan, that doesn't reduce the work for your air conditioner at all. And it's completely pointless to run a ceiling fan in an unoccupied room.

However, if you can raise your thermostat a few degrees because your ceiling fan makes you feel cooler, then you might be able to save money. The cost of running a ceiling fan is very low. However, the benefits of using it would only apply to people in the same room as the fan. To install an air conditioner or to have yours repaired, get in touch with a contractor at a website like