Temperatures are still sky-high in many parts of the country, which means you’re probably making good use of your home’s AC unit. After all, two-thirds of all homes in the U.S. have had air conditioner installation at some point in time, and most of us rely on AC service to keep our houses cool and comfortable during the most miserably hot days. But just having an air conditioner isn’t enough to ensure your surroundings are comfortable; you also need to use and maintain it properly. Otherwise, you may be seeking out air conditioner repair much sooner than you would have hoped. The truth is that many homeowners neglect to care for their AC units as they should. But it doesn’t have to be that way! If you want to avoid the need for air conditioning services and replacement this summer, don’t make the following mistakes.
- Cooling an empty room or houseYes, you want your home to be comfortable, but only when absolutely necessary. Forgetting to reset the temperature when you’re out and about will end up costing you a lot in the end. While you’re at work or school or when the family is asleep, it’s best to turn the temperature back up so that you don’t waste all that cool air when no one’s around to enjoy it. If you have central AC services, consider getting a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature when you’re out of the house. And if you have individual window or room units, don’t forget to turn them down or off when you leave the area. Fail to do this and you’ll receive an unwelcome surprise when your monthly bill arrives!
- Forgetting to change your filtersWe’ve all fallen behind on home maintenance, but neglecting to change your AC filters can have big consequences on your health and financial situation. You should change your central AC unit filters every three months (or more if you’re running your system on a constant basis). A dirty filter will force your unit to work much harder to make your home comfortable, which means increased bills and increased system lifespans. Plus, this could lead to respiratory discomfort for those who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other issues. Replacing your filters is affordable and relatively easy, so unlike other AC services, it doesn’t require a huge time or economic commitment. Make filter replacement a regular part of your routine. That way, if your AC unit starts to act up or becomes less efficient than usual, you can rule that out right away.
- Improper unit sizingWhen it comes to your air conditioning, bigger doesn’t always equal better. If your AC unit is too large for the space, this could lead to frustrating changes in temperature and inefficient power use. Likewise, if an AC unit is too large for a space, your home won’t be comfortable and your unit won’t last as long. Be sure to have realistic expectations about what kind of unit you truly need and take precise measurements. If you have questions about the proper unit for a given room or your home, your HVAC technician can help you make an informed decision.
- Poor maintenance practicesMany of us neglect to take care of a problem with our appliances or home systems until the issue becomes a real emergency. Regular cooling system maintenance will help you avoid getting stuck without AC in the middle of a heat wave, but it will also keep your bills low and your home more comfortable throughout the entire season. It may not be the most enjoyable task on your to-do list, but don’t forget to schedule your AC services each year to make certain your system is working up to its full potential. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up paying more each month and may end up sacrificing on personal comfort.
If you’re like most people, you’ll want to avoid expensive repairs and high monthly bills. Proper air conditioning use and maintenance will allow you to do just that. By steering clear of these common mistakes, you’ll save money, reduce frustration, and keep your house cool and comfy all summer long.