4 Mistakes To Avoid With Your Air Conditioning

Whether you've moved into a new home or you've just had a new air conditioning unit put in, it's important to take care of the overall system so that it works well and you don't waste money on preventable repairs. Here are four common mistakes to avoid so your home stays cool and your wallet stays fat.

Turning the Thermostat Too Low

As the temperatures rise, your tolerance for the heat may plummet. If you've returned home after a long, hard day, and all you want is to cool off as quickly as possible, you ought to reconsider setting the thermostat lower than usual.

First of all, it won't cool your home any faster. For example, if you come home to find the thermostat reads a balmy 80 degrees, your house will reach the desired temperature just as fast, no matter what temperature you turn it down to.

Second, turning it too low can actually create a few problems, one of which is wasting energy. Say you turn the thermostat to 70 and forget to turn it back up. You've just spent money to cool your home well beyond your comfort zone.

Also, an AC that works to cool a home lower than 77 degrees can age faster, requiring more servicing and possibly an earlier replacement. If you want your central air to achieve its maximum life expectancy, keep the thermostat between 77 and 78 degrees while you're home, and turn it up a little when you leave.

Not Changing the Air Filter

It's pretty easy for most people to even forget about their air filter. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Other homeowners try to save money or think they're being environmentally friendly by removing the air filter, dusting or vacuuming it off, and reusing it. And some, worried that the dirty filter will ruin their system, will simply take it out with the intention of getting a new one the next time they're at the hardware store.

Cleaning your air filter for reuse can actually damage the fibrous material that traps the dust, making it work less efficiently. And not changing it at all? Well, that opens up a whole new can of worms. Air filters that become clogged with too much dust block the flow, preventing fresh, clean air from entering the ducts and cycling through the unit. This can cause your AC to overheat and break down. In fact, dirty air filters are actually one of the main causes of AC system failure.

Lastly, removing your filter completely for any length of time can allow dust to get trapped in your system and collect on the coils, causing the system to freeze over and stop working.

To help your system run efficiently and last longer, change your air filter monthly.

Turning the AC Off

If you plan on being out of town for a while, turning off your AC altogether can seem like a good idea, particularly if you want to save on your fuel bill. But this can wreak havoc on your unit. When the air conditioning isn't running at all, mold and mildew can collect inside due to the increase in humidity. Not only that, if you live in a really hot climate, some professionals claim that your sheet rock can become damaged from the excessive heat.

It's generally recommended to turn your thermostat up by four degrees before heading out on that summer vacation in order to keep your home and your AC system safe and sound.

Neglecting the Condenser Unit

The condenser unit sits outside and works by allowing the heat inside your home to escape. If the coils and fins around the exterior unit collect yard debris, it cannot work as efficiently. Anything that blocks the air flow will make the unit work harder to rid the hot air from your home and may cause the motor to burn out.

To avoid this issue, regularly check your condenser unit to ensure leaves, tall grass, and bushes aren't blocking the unit, and have it cleaned once a year. Contact a company like Absolute Air Conditioning & Heating for more tips.