In general, we don’t have to interact with our air conditioners a whole lot. Our thermostats tell our systems when to turn on and off, so the cooling process is basically on autopilot. However, there are some common mistakes that homeowners often make during those times when we do have to interact with our air conditioners that can have big effects on your system’s efficiency and performance levels. Today we’re going to talk about 10 common air conditioner mistakes to look out for so that you don’t fall into the same traps that many other homeowners often do!
10 air conditioner mistakes to avoid
- Skipping air conditioner tune-ups. Annual tune-ups aren’t just for fixing problems, they are also for taking care of essential maintenance tasks that need to be performed every year for your system to work properly and efficiently. If you skip out on an annual tune-up, you’re at a much higher risk of a breakdown this summer and your cooling bills will likely be higher than they would be if you had a tune-up performed.
- Leaving a dirty filter installed.A dirty filter is responsible for a huge amount of common air conditioner problems. Some homeowners completely neglect their filters and leave the same filter in for months at a time, while others simply forget to change their filters. Your filter should be checked and/or changed once per month.
- Installing an oversized system. You might think that “bigger is better” when it comes to air conditioners, but that’s certainly not the case. If you install a system that’s too big for your home, your home will be uncomfortable due to big temperature swings, uneven cooling, and high humidity.
- Cranking down the temperature. Some people have the misconception that the lower you set your thermostat, the faster your home will cool down. This is not true. Your home cools down at the same rate no matter where your thermostat is set. If you crank down your thermostat, you risk forgetting to change it back, which will waste a lot of energy and force your system to work extra hard on days that are likely already hot.
- Ignoring problems. We know that summers can be busy and it can be hard to find the time to call for an air conditioner repair. But the longer you ignore a problem, the worse that problem will get and the more expensive the repair will likely be.
- Choosing the cheapest contractor. When you are choosing an air conditioner contractor for an installation or repair, it can be tempting to choose the cheapest contractor you can find. This is a huge mistake because the cheapest contractor is almost always the lowest quality. Choosing a highly-reputable company like Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning is much better in the long run because your system will be properly taken care of and you won’t have to spend money on problems that are caused by the work of untrained and unqualified technicians.
- Placing appliances near the thermostat. If you place any lamps or other heat-producing appliances near your thermostat, it can cause your thermostat to think your home is warmer than it is. This will keep your air conditioner running longer than it needs to, which can make your home too cool and will waste energy.
- Waiting too long to replace your system. Many homeowners want to get every last day out of their outdated air conditioners. The problem, however, is that old air conditioners will inevitably break down and leave your home with no cool air. In addition, old air conditioners are much more expensive to operate than new, high-efficiency systems.
- Blocking or closing your air vents. There is a common myth that by closing vents in unused rooms in your home, you can save energy by not cooling those rooms. However, this is not an effective energy-saving strategy, and it can lead to comfort, efficiency, and performance issues.
- Trying to hide your outdoor unit. Some people try to make their air conditioners’ outside units blend in with their yards by planting trees, flowers, and other plants around them. This is not a good idea, because it blocks the airflow to the condenser unit and makes it more difficult for your A/C to cool your home.
If you have any questions about these air conditioner mistakes, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Charles, MO, air conditioning contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Ladue, Lake St. Louis, and Manchester, MO.