Air conditioning units generally last around 12 to 15 years and, in some rarer cases, can even last up to 20 years… if properly used and maintained. Unbeknownst to a lot of people, there are ways you can inadvertently shorten your air conditioning unit’s lifespan and cost yourself money.
Here are the biggest air conditioner mistakes that homeowners make.
Is your AC overdue for some maintenance? Schedule a tune-up with Falite Bros., Inc. before summer really gets cooking.
1. Purchasing a Unit That’s the Wrong Size
When homeowners purchase a new AC condenser unit on their own (or when they are misled by an untrustworthy HVAC technician), they can end up buying a unit that is the wrong capacity for the space that it needs to cool. This ends up being a problem for a few different reasons, including an increased likelihood and frequency of breakdowns.
When an air conditioner is too big, it will only run for brief cycles while never evenly cooling down your home or getting rid of excess moisture in your home’s air. This is known as short-cycling. When an air conditioner is too small, it will have to run much longer than a correctly-sized unit to cool your home. This causes it to wear down prematurely.
2. Skipping Routine Maintenance
Your air conditioner is a complex machine comprised of a number of components that are taken for granted all too often. Just like a car, an air conditioning unit requires maintenance every so often to keep all of its components functioning smoothly. In addition, providing your AC with a spring tune-up means that any problems it might have can be discovered and repaired before summer temperatures arrive.
3. Letting the Coils and Fins Get Grimy
Your AC unit’s condenser coils absorb heat from inside your house, while its evaporator coils and fins let heat transfer from the unit to the air outside. When dust and grime build up on the coils and fins of your unit, that impedes its ability to transfer heat, which in term impedes its ability to work efficiently. The end result is a higher energy bill for you.
Check on your fins and coils from time to time, particularly after stormy or windy days, and clear away grime as needed.
4. Neglecting the Air Filter
Whether your filter type is one that needs to be cleaned or replaced, make sure you are cleaning or replacing your HVAC system’s air filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important because the longer an air filter is in use, the more particles of dust and other debris it will accumulate. Eventually, if not cleaned or replaced, an air filter can become so clogged that it inhibits airflow through your whole system, which can lead to decreased efficiency, overheating, and expensive component repairs.
5. Turning the Thermostat Down Too Low
One common misconception about thermostats and air conditioners is that if you turn your thermostat down by several degrees all at once, your AC will respond faster and work harder to cool your home. This is an air conditioning myth, and it can cost you more money if you end up leaving the temperature on your thermostat lower than what you actually need to be comfortable. Whether you set it at 75 degrees or 65 degrees, your air conditioner will work just as hard either way.
6. Making Your AC Do All the Work
It isn’t commonly known, but the most you can expect from an air conditioner is a 20-degree difference in temperature inside from outdoor temperatures. For example, if the temperature outside is 105 degrees, your air conditioner probably won’t be able to get your home much cooler than 85 degrees. Help your AC during particularly hot days by doing the following:
Use ceiling fans.
Refrain from using your oven.
Keep curtains and blinds closed.
If you’re experiencing trouble with your AC, Falite Bros., Inc. offers emergency repair service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to address your air conditioning problems and restore your equipment.