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An air conditioner is now a staple in almost every home, especially if you live in a place which has inclement weather. While AC units have been around forever, even today, there are mistakes that a lot of people commit which can lead to increased energy bills, decreased performance or even complete breakdown of the unit.
The slipups that we are going to highlight don’t require a lot of effort or time to correct and can be easily done. Let’s look at a few mistakes homeowners commit when it comes to their ACs.
The air filter is what helps the air conditioner unit get rid the air of dust, mold spores, fibers, particulate matter, animal fur, and other contaminants. The filtration process happens when expended air is cycled back into the equipment to be distributed again. These filters are made of light materials and are not meant to be used for longer periods of time. Most filters, depending on the place where you live, cannot be used for more than 6 months. If you live in a really dusty neighborhood, then it will last even less. Most people do not carry out periodic checks of their air filter resulting in poor performance as well as increased pollution. Changing the filter can bump up your ACs energy efficiency by up to 15%.
In an HVAC system the fins and the coils are what enable the process of heat exchange to take place, and so they need to be clean to be able to absorb heat better. A lot of homeowners completely overlook regular maintenance of these components which can reduce the efficiency of your AC unit. In fact, this is the first place you should be looking at if you think the AC’s cooling performance has reduced and you’ve already changed the filters. Due to the inherent moisture present in close proximity to this, there is a regular buildup of grime and dust. You can easily clean them yourself and save a bundle in the process.
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When it comes to cutting costs, the thermostat is where people try to save money. While simple thermostats are not expensive, programmable thermostats offer a lot more features. These advanced thermostats can automatically increase, and lower temperature to maintain a comfortable temperature at home as well as completely switch off the AC unit when there is no one in the house. Needless to say, smart thermostats saves a lot of effort and energy from your side and is something that you need to opt for.
When you need to control the temperature in your house, your windows play a vital role. If you want to cool down your house, cover the sun-facing windows with thick drapes that keep the heat out. It also helps to open the windows in the evening when the temperature cools down which puts less strain on your AC unit and increases ventilation too.
Most air conditioners require a drain where water buildup due to condensation is directed to. This is normally positioned away from the main unit so as not to cause problems. The issue is when sometimes this drain is clogged due to the buildup of grime or mold. Another problem is that this blocked drain can cause water to seep into the surrounding walls and the floor causing damage that might require extensive repairs.
There are many times when people put off the task of replacing parts for a different day to save money. What they don’t realize is that this just puts more strain on the other components in the unit, meaning there is a greater chance of them failing as well. Ideally, you need to make sure that you change out parts as prescribed in the owner’s manual. Also, some manufacturers even consider their warranty void if you do not replace parts when they are due.
Ducting is where a lot of AC problems can arise and leaking accounts for 20 – 30% of total wastage. It can also cause uneven cooling or heating throughout the house. While it is difficult to determine all types of leakages with your ducting, you can visually inspect the ducting at exposed areas to find problems.
While there are many things that can be DIY’ed, complete AC maintenance, unfortunately, isn’t one of them. An HVAC contractor can deliver an annual maintenance contract which you might think is expensive, but it can save money in the long run. Annual maintenance when done properly takes care of many problems with AC units and helps prevent several issues from recurring.
We have listed the most common mistakes that more people commit when it comes to their AC units. Modern air conditioners are complex pieces of equipment which you shouldn’t fiddle around with too much. That said, there are basic measures like the ones which we’ve talked about which you can take care of and keep your unit working for longer. If you are air conditioning repairs get in touch with your local HVAC Company. They can help you in case there is something wrong with your unit that you are not able to diagnose. Most modern AC units are robust and, with proper maintenance, can keep you and your family comfortable for a long time ahead.