As with anything in life, there are quite a few tall tales people believe about their air conditioners. While most of it probably harmless, some of the myths floating around about a/c units can actually cost you money if you believe them. Here is the truth to two myths that will save your budget and your sanity.

A High-Efficiency Air Conditioner is Better

There's no denying that a high-efficiency air conditioner can significantly reduce energy costs. For instance, upgrading to an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 9 to one with a SEER rating of 16 can decrease your electric bill by 49 percent. However, that doesn't mean you should automatically plunk down thousands of dollars to upgrade your existing unit for a high efficiency one.

Sometimes you can significantly boost the efficiency of your current a/c unit and reduce your energy usage by just as much simply by adequately weatherizing your home. For instance, much of the heat that enters your home comes from the sunlight shining through the windows. Applying heat-reduction film to windows could reduce energy bills by up to 10 percent. Planting a shade tree over your air conditioner can boost its efficiency by up to 10 percent also.

Before investing in a new high-efficiency a/c, make sure your home is already adequately weatherized. You may find you don't actually need the upgrade.

A Bigger Air Conditioner is Better

Another popular myth is that buying a bigger air conditioner will cool your home faster and for longer. On the surface, this myth actually appears true. A bigger air conditioner will cool your home faster, but this isn't necessarily a good thing.

First, an oversized unit will typically run for significantly shorter periods of time than a unit sized just right for the home. The air conditioner only removes excess moisture from the air when it's running. If the unit doesn't run for a long enough cycle, the humidity in your home will increase, leading to problems such as mold.

Second, the a/c unit will actually cycle more frequently. Instead of maybe taking 15 minutes to reach the desired temperature, for instance, the home may only take 5 minutes. However, the unit will end up turning on more often as the home heats up between cycles. This can cause the components in your machine to wear out faster, leading to a reduced lifespan.

Before making a decision based on something you heard from a friend's cousin's mother's sister, talk to a professional air conditioning technician to ensure it's true and beneficial to you. For more information about common a/c myths or to get your unit serviced, contact an air conditioning service and repair company, such as Cleveland Plumbing & Heating Inc.