There are some pretty harmless myths out there… like how the level of heartburn a woman has will determine how much hair their baby will be born with or how walking under a ladder will give you bad luck.
Alright, we’re not totally saying these myths are untrue, and if you want to continue to believe them that’s perfectly fine! But believing air conditioner myths could actually do the system harm, in addition to harming your comfort and your budget.
Read on as we uncover a few of the biggest AC myths and what problems could come out of believing them.
Myth #1: Refrigerant is Supposed to Run Out
Many homeowners believe that refrigerant is something that “runs out” or depletes, like gasoline from a car. This is unfortunately not true.
We say unfortunately because believing this particular myth could leave you with a completely broken down air conditioner, years before its time.
You see, upon manufacturing, air conditioners are supplied with enough refrigerant to last their entire lifespan. It is a recycled chemical substance that transitions between a gaseous state and a liquid state in order to activate the cooling process.
When your air conditioner loses refrigerant, it means there is a leak. So yes, the refrigerant needs to be refilled (what we call recharged, here in the HVAC industry). But the leak also needs to be located and repaired so it doesn’t continue to happen. If it is allowed to continue, then the coils can freeze over and the compressor can break down. If the latter occurs, you’re looking at a potential air conditioner replacement years before you should have to.
Myth #2: The Air Filter Only Needs to Be Changed During Maintenance
First off, we’ve found that people often have the wrong idea of what the purpose is of an air filter that comes standard with their air conditioner. This air filter is not in place to protect indoor air quality as many assume, but rather to protect the air conditioner itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and damage the components.
So if this air filter gets too clogged up, it doesn’t necessarily hurt your indoor air quality. Instead, it blocks airflow and causes your air conditioner to run longer in order to achieve the desired temperature on your thermostat.
The standard HVAC air filter needs to be changed every 1-3 months depending on the type of filter it is and the level of contaminants inside your home.
Myth #3: “I Can Do Repairs or Maintenance On My Own”
Unfortunately, without the right training and expertise, this can do more harm than good to the air conditioner. Additionally, you may void out the manufacturer warranty by attempting repairs or maintenance on your own.
This means that if there is a manufacturer defect, and you unsuccessfully try to fix it on your own only to have to call in an HVAC professional after all, you’ll be financially liable for whatever repairs and components replacements are needed, rather than the manufacturer being liable.