Despite the popularity of central air conditioning, not every house needs it. A room air conditioner is perfectly fine in regions with hot weather for just a few weeks each summer and for houses with plenty of shade from trees. If you use room air conditioners, you might be using them in ways that don't do what you think they do. Here are some myths about room air conditioners and the truths that bust those myths.
Cooling the room faster
Myth: If I turn the thermostat to the coldest setting, the room gets colder faster.
Truth: The room air temperature cools when the air circulates through the cooling coils. The air conditioner can only cool as fast as the air cycles through the coils. Setting the thermostat to a low temperature eventually makes the room colder, but it won’t get cold faster. The thermostat is set to cycle the compressor off after the air temperature drops to the temperature set.
Clearing the air
Myth: I can use my window air conditioner to vent stale air from the room
Truth: Models with a venting feature exhaust only a little air to the outside. Room air conditioners circulate the room's air through a set of cooling coils and blow the air back into the room. Cycling the same air from the room over and over through the coils is how the room gets cooler—but it doesn’t get fresher.
Moving cold air around
Myth: I can cool other rooms by using a fan to blow the cold air into into them, or by blowing warm air from other rooms into the room with the air conditioner.
Truth: A fan can circulate cooled air around the room with the air conditioner. But room air conditioners can only cool a certain amount of space efficiently, and adding more warm air from other rooms decreases the ability to cool efficiently.
Myth: My window air conditioner needs to be recharged with refrigerant every year.
Truth: Window air conditioners don’t require a yearly recharge. The refrigerant travels through a set of lines that are completely sealed and have no threaded connections that could develop a leak. If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, a line has broken. A licensed service professional can repair the sealed lines.
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