In Texas, having a good air conditioner is an essential part of making sure your home is a place of comfort and security throughout the year. The temperatures can reach sizzling highs and even drop to chilling lows at different times throughout the year. If you don’t want to be stuck feeling like a baked potato inside an oven or be forced into throwing on extra layers to keep yourself warm, then keeping your AC in top shape is important. At H&H Heating and Air, our team of expert technicians understands that not everyone is aware of the best ways to take care of your AC unit. We’ve put together a list of common mistakes to avoid that will help extend the lifespan of your unit.
Here are some common mistakes that might be ruining your AC unit.
1). Not Changing the Air Filter
Sure, this might seem like a really simple step, but it can have a real impact on the overall life of your unit. This is because the dirtier your air filter gets, the less efficiently it can circulate air as it struggles to pull air through the filter. At the same time, this can also have a real impact on the indoor air quality of your home. As the airflow decreases, your AC will start struggling to provide proper cooling, and it may even fail if the situation worsens. To avoid this, most experts recommend that the air filter should be swapped out every three months or more.
2). Leaving the System Running Constantly
Cooling systems are not designed to run all day every day. Even though it is tempting to keep your AC going at all times during those hot summer days and cool winter nights, this can be bad for the machine. If your AC is forced to run for extended periods to keep your home cool, or even warm it up, then this is a sign that there may be other problems that need to be addressed. It is always a good idea to keep your blinds closed, and to use insulated curtains to take some of the load off of your unit.
3). Setting the Thermostat Improperly
Coming back to a home that is unbearably hot, or is exceedingly cold is never a pleasant experience. Even if you are in this situation though, don’t make the mistake of dramatically lowering or raising the temperature to try and speed up the work your AC is capable of. If you like your home to be in the low 70’s, setting the thermostat somewhere in the ’60s as a way of cooling the home off faster is a bad idea. Your air conditioner will still cool off the area at the same rate as it would if you left the temperature at your desired setting, and can easily lead to increased workload and energy costs if you forget to re-adjust it later.
4). Not Using a Fan to Circulate Air
A common misconception for many people is that a fan is something to be used when the air is comfortable, or slightly warm and that an AC unit is to be used once it gets too hot, or too cold. The truth though, is that ACs work better when combined with a fan. Using a fan to circulate cool air from your AC unit is a great way to dramatically decrease the time it takes to lower temperatures in a space, and can even allow you to set your thermostat to a higher temperature while still feeling just as cool which is a great way to ease the load on your AC and even save money on your energy bill.
5). Leaving Rooms or AC Vents Open
Whether you have a window-mounted, or central AC unit, they both have to work harder as the space that needs to be cooled increases. If you are trying to cool down an area quickly, then leaving doors or vents open will greatly increase the amount of time required to reach the desired temperature, while also increasing the load on your machine. By shutting your door and allowing the AC unit to cool off a specific room, or closing certain vents if you have a central unit, you can help increase the lifespan and efficiency of your machine by preventing cool air from leaking into unwanted spaces, and reducing the overall amount of air that has to be cooled down.