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Air Conditioning Mistakes That Spike Your Bills

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Did you know that more than 90 percent of homes in the U.S. rely on air conditioning to beat the summer heat? Given the overwhelming prevalence of air conditioning, it’s safe to assume that most homeowners are familiar with the ins and outs of their systems and know how to maintain them properly. However, many homeowners fall victim to common mistakes that put unnecessary wear on their AC, waste energy, and hike up cooling costs. Read on to learn if you’re making any of these common air-conditioning mistakes, and how to correct each one.

Buying an under-or oversized system 

An air conditioner should be properly sized for a home and take into consideration its size, layout, insulation, and occupancy. An oversized unit may cycle on and off too quickly, making it ineffective at removing humidity and maintaining desired temperatures. On the other hand, a unit that’s too small will run constantly, putting undo stress on parts and components, and drastically shortening equipment lifespan. 

Installing the AC unit in direct sunlight 

The location of an air conditioner has a big impact on its energy efficiency. Try to install the condenser in a shady spot so it doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home. Additionally, don’t plant shrubs or plants too close to the unit, as they will impede ventilation and may clog condenser coils. 

Cooling empty rooms 

You wouldn’t run the shower unless you’re taking one. So why would you cool an empty house? Upgrade to a programmable thermostat that allows you to raise and lower the temperature of your AC based on a preset schedule. Boost your energy efficiency even more by installing one or more additional zones that allow you to raise or lower the thermostat in various areas of your home.  

Poorly positioning the thermostat 

Make sure the thermostat is not installed in direct sunlight or near heat-producing lights and appliances. Doing so can cause it to give an inaccurate reading, causing the air conditioner to work overtime. 

Setting the thermostat too low 

You can cut 3 percent off your cooling costs for every degree you raise the temperature. If you’re comfortable at 72 degrees, chances are you’ll be comfortable at 74 or 75 as well – your body will just need a little time to adjust. 

Not using ceiling fans 

Combining your AC system with ceiling fans can help cool the air circulating throughout your home. This means you will feel more comfortable at a higher indoor temperature. Make sure your ceiling fans run counterclockwise in order to push air downward. You can also use strategically placed portable fans to help circulate conditioned air throughout the house. 

Neglecting the filter 

One of the easiest ways to improve your AC’s energy efficiency is by replacing the air filter every 6 to 8 weeks during the cooling season (or more frequently if the filter seems excessively clogged with dust). A clean filter helps lower energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent and helps keep allergens and pollutants out of the air you breathe. 

Forgetting routine maintenance 

Proper maintenance of your AC system will maximize its operating efficiency and extend its lifespan. What’s more, failing to have the system inspected and cleaned annually by a licensed HVAC technician can void the manufacturer’s warranty. Ideally, annual maintenance should be done in the spring, but if it’s something you just didn’t get to this year, it’s not too late.  

Not calling a professional 

Sometimes taking the DIY route can do more harm than good, not to mention present safety hazards. For annual preventive maintenance, HVAC repairs, and new system installation, the professionals at Blau Sudden Service have the experience and expertise you can count on. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.  

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