A broken AC can make life in the summer a lot less comfortable. While poor cooling is often a sign that your unit needs to be serviced, bad habits can also compromise your comfort and cause your energy bills to spike.
Here are the biggest AC mistakes to avoid.
Furniture Blocking Your Vents
In order for your central air system to deliver even temperatures throughout your home, the vents must remain clear. Don’t make the mistake of covering your vents with furniture. Household appliances and rugs are just as bad. To keep your home cool, the AC will have to work harder to force air past obstructions. Not only does this lead to higher energy bills, but it also accelerates wear and tear.
Closing the Vents
For the same reason you should keep furniture clear of the vents, you shouldn’t close them.
Some homeowners believe that closing air vents can save energy. However, this old myth needs to be put to rest. Closing your HVAC registers will actually decrease the efficiency of your unit. Proper airflow is critical. As air from your AC pushes against the closed vents, additional pressure is created within the ductwork. A leak is far more likely to occur.
Closing off the vents in a room also puts your AC unit at risk of experiencing mechanical failure. The extra pressure can damage the system’s heat exchanger. Remember, this is the most expensive part of an AC.
Forgetting to Change the Air Filter
An AC filter is a simple part. However, it has a major impact on your unit’s ability to cool the home. It doesn’t take long for a clogged filter to hinder performance. While it’s recommended to replace your filter at least every three months, they are inexpensive enough to replace monthly.
Aside from creating a greater workload for your AC, a dirty filter also allows more dust and bacteria to circulate throughout the home. Simply replacing your filter regularly can dramatically improve indoor air quality, thus having a positive impact on the health of your family.
Setting the Thermostat to the Wrong Temperature
Setting the thermostat to the wrong temperature can definitely hurt your pockets. Your unit will consume far more energy than it should. Most people understand that adjusting the thermostat to a lower temperature will increase summer cooling costs. However, a high thermostat setting can be just as bad.
While your AC’s primary job is to cool things down, it’s also responsible for keeping indoor humidity in check. If the thermostat is set too high, excess humidity can build up in the air. Ideally, your home’s humidity levels should remain below 50 percent. High humidity creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the ideal temperature setting is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll be able to stay cool without encountering steep electricity bills.
Neglecting Routine Maintenance
When is the last time you had your HVAC system serviced? If you can’t remember, then it’s long overdue. We recommend having your central air system tune-up at least once a year, preferably in the spring so that it’s prepared for the hotter temperatures ahead.
An AC unit that is well maintained will operate more efficiently and provide a higher level of comfort. During a routine maintenance visit, an HVAC technician will…
Lubricate moving parts
Calibrate the thermostat
Check the drain pan
Clear out the condensate line
Inspect parts for wear and tear
Clean the condenser coils
The technician will also test the voltage among other tasks to ensure that the unit is operating at peak efficiency.
Without routine maintenance, you’re risking costly repairs or even a complete and total breakdown of the appliance. Don’t run the risk. To schedule a tune-up for your system, call Seiter Services at (937) 507-3372.