Air Conditioning Services, Thermostats, And The Common Mistakes To Avoid
Is there a right and wrong way to use a home cooling system? From how to use a thermostat to when to schedule air conditioning services, take a look at the common AC mistakes to avoid listed below.
The Thermostat Setting
Does the thermostat seem like a minor part of your home's cooling system? Even though you might not give the little box on the wall a second thought, the thermostat is the air conditioner's brain. Without a thermostat, you couldn't control the indoor air temperature. Common thermostat mistakes homeowners make include:
- Low setting: The summer heat is intense. To keep your home cool, you drop the AC's thermostat setting as low as it can go. This reduces the amount of heat exchange in the evaporator coil. The result is a frozen coil and an AC system that doesn't work.
- High setting: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, changing your temperature seven to ten degrees different for eight or more hours a day can save you up to 10% annually on HVAC costs. But a dramatic jump in the thermostat setting (well above 10 degrees higher) may force your system to work harder to cool your home afterwards.
- Back-and-forth setting: Do you constantly change the temperature setting? While you can adjust the thermostat once or twice a day to reduce energy use, hour-by-hour changes can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your HVAC system and the thermostat itself.
To minimize the risks to your system and control the indoor air temperature, consider a programmable or smart thermostat. These devices allow you to pre-set energy-saving changes and (if you choose a smart system) regulate your home's cooling while you're away.
The Maintenance Schedule
Can the wrong AC maintenance schedule damage your home's system or cause premature wear and tear? Simply stated—yes. Failure to schedule a pre-season or annual appointment can cause serious AC issues, such as:
- Uneven cooling: A clogged system or air filter can force your air conditioner to work harder than it needs to. If the cooled air can't reach every interior space, you may notice uneven cooling. Over time, this issue can result in increased energy use and other AC problems.
- Short-cycling: Air filter clogs and system buildup can cause the AC system to cycle on and off quickly. This unwanted AC issue (known as short-cycling) will increase your cooling bills and wear down your system prematurely.
- Needing a new system: You thought your system would last longer, but without routine professional care, your air conditioner may fail years before it should.
If you or the previous owner of your home haven't maintained the system, now is the perfect time to start. Whether it's weeks before you need to use your air conditioner or it's already part-way into the summer, a professional maintenance service can help you to avoid AC mistakes.