There’s nothing better on hot day than walking into your home and feeling that refreshing blast of cool air. When it comes to buying and maintaining an air conditioner, however, the experience can be less pleasurable. It’s easy to make mistakes in selecting, using, and placing your air conditioner and these mistakes can reduce the efficiency of your unit and lead to higher energy and repair costs.
Here are seven common air conditioning mistakes to avoid this spring and summer.
1. Not getting the right size unit
When it comes to air conditioners, one size does not fit all. Units that are too large will cycle on and off, leading to unwanted temperature changes and high energy bills. Those that are too small won’t adequately cool your space and will struggle to keep up with demands and wear out quickly. In both of these situations you may have to shell out big bucks for repairs.
To find the right size air conditioning unit that delivers the correct cooling load, make sure your contractor does an accurate load calculation, measuring your square footage, layout, and insulation.
2. Not changing the air filter
Changing the air filter on your air conditioner is easy and inexpensive, yet many neglect to do this. The air filter prevents dust and debris from the air outside from entering your home; as a result, it can become clogged. Most air filters need to be changed monthly, but some high-efficiency filters can last longer. If filters aren’t changed regularly, your system won’t work as efficiently and can cause freezing.
3. Neglecting routine maintenance
Aside from changing the air filter, your AC needs routine maintenance. Have an HVAC specialist come out and check your machine for any issues at least once per cooling season. This could head off any expensive repairs down the road.
4. Using the wrong thermostat settings
Some people make the mistake of turning on the AC, then turning the thermostat way down in an attempt to cool down the room faster. Your system may just skip past the temperature you set and waste energy in the process. Generally, it’s recommended to set the thermostat at the highest temperature you’re comfortable with. For most people, this is between 76 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Every degree equates to about 7% of power consumption, and this of course impacts your energy bill.
5. Running the AC too much
Leaving your air conditioner on all day wastes a great deal of energy and can decrease the efficiency of your unit. Turn off the AC when you leave or turn up the thermostat when you leave in the morning and turn it down again when you get home. Your home usually only needs a few minutes to cool down anyway.
6. Not running the AC at all
If you don’t run your air conditioner for a long time, it may not work properly when you finally turn it back on. Mold can grow inside and the system can break down. To protect the air quality in your home, try to run the AC for just a few minutes each day.
7. Incorrect placement
The location of your air conditioning unit affects its energy efficiency. Place it in the shade and make sure there aren’t plants or other objects too close to it; adequate ventilation will help it run more efficiently. Also make sure that the thermostat isn’t located too close to lamps or other heat-generating appliances.
Avoiding these common air conditioning mistakes is easy; it just requires a little knowledge and effort!
We hope you enjoy the warmer months ahead—both outside and in cool, indoor spaces. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the space below!