Believe it or not, the average American household spends more than $104 on electricity each month. One of the biggest contributors to that cost is the air conditioning system they have in place.
Though there’s no way to completely eliminate your air conditioning system’s energy use, there are things you can do to make sure the system runs as efficiently as possible. It all comes down to taking care of routine maintenance throughout the year.
Maintenance is important, but many homeowners end up making mistakes when it comes to keeping their systems running well. Here are a few of the most common AC maintenance mistakes people make and what you need to do to avoid making them yourself.
1. Not Checking Your Filters
All air conditioning systems bring air from outside your home into the unit, cool it, and send it into your house. This helps keep the air fresh at all times. However, it does mean that any dust, debris, and allergens in the air outside your house can make it indoors.
That’s why modern systems have a series of filters in place to catch those contaminants. The more your unit runs, the more debris and contaminants those filters will catch.
For most homeowners, filters need to get inspected and replaced once every three months. Leaving dirty filters in place doesn’t just hurt your home’s indoor air quality—it also makes your air conditioner work harder to cool your home.
Replacing your filters is the best way to keep your air conditioner running smoothly for years to come.
2. Ignoring Strange Noises
Every air conditioner makes noises when it turns on. However, after living with the system for even a few weeks, you know which sounds are normal and which are different.
Those strange sounds aren’t something you should ignore. In fact, they’re a surefire sign that your unit needs repair work as soon as possible.
If you ignore these early sounds and signs of damage, there’s a chance that your system will develop more severe problems. Worse, it could break down altogether when you need it most.
If you hear strange noises, don’t wait. Schedule a repair appointment as soon as possible.
3. Forgetting to Clean Your Air Vents
Your air vents can collect a lot of dust and debris over the year. Anytime your air conditioning system turns on, the air gets forced through those vents and into your home. Any debris and dirt trapped in the vents will get sent out into your home anytime the AC system turns on.
Though it doesn’t impact your air conditioner’s efficiency, the best thing you can do is clean your air vents at least once a month. This will help keep your indoor air quality as high as possible.
The cleaner your air stays, the less likely you and your family are to develop allergies and other upper respiratory conditions.
4. Not Scheduling Routine Tune-Ups
Anytime your air conditioner turns on, the components experience wear and tear. Staying on top of routine tune-ups will help keep your system working and reduce the frequency of more expensive repairs over the years.
Just because your unit is running smoothly doesn’t mean it’s in good shape. It still needs tune-ups at least twice a year to work well.
Not scheduling regular tune-ups with your trusted air conditioning service is the easiest way to shorten the lifespan of your system and increase your risk of unexpected breakdowns.
5. Leaving an Outdated Unit in Place
No matter how often you schedule routine AC maintenance service, you will eventually need to replace your air conditioner. In fact, the average AC system lasts for roughly 15 years with proper care and maintenance.
As your system ages, it will start to develop more problems and will run less efficiently than it used to. Leaving that old system in place is never a great idea.
If your unit is approaching 15 years old or is older than that by several years, don’t wait. Get the unit replaced as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner your electric bill will decrease and the more comfortable your home will be.
6. Setting the Thermostat Too Low
When your home is warm, it seems like turning the thermostat as low as it will go is the fastest way to cool your house. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The amount of air the system puts out will be the same no matter what temperature the thermostat is set at. Turning the thermostat lower won’t actually make your home cooler faster. It just forces your air conditioner to work harder until your space reaches a comfortable temperature.
Worse, if you forget to reset the temperature, the AC will keep running until it reaches that ultra-low setting. That means more wear and tear and more energy consumption every time.
7. Choosing Repair Technicians Based on Price Alone
Every air conditioning system will need repairs eventually. Though it’s important to shop around and get estimates from different HVAC contractors, you should never make your decision based on price alone.
When it comes to the quality of repairs, you get what you pay for. Choosing a contractor that charges the lowest rates often means you get the lowest quality service.
Instead, work with a contractor that has experience working on your type of unit and stands behind their work every time. You might pay slightly more, but you’ll get better service and won’t have to worry about paying for the same repair twice.
Avoid Making These AC Maintenance Mistakes
Staying on top of routine maintenance is the best way to extend the life of your home’s HVAC system. Familiarize yourself with these common AC maintenance mistakes and do what you can to avoid making them yourself.
If you’re worried about your system or know that you’ve made one or more of these mistakes in the past, schedule a repair appointment as soon as you can.
At Florida Heat & Air, our team is here to help you keep your home comfortable year-round. If you need to schedule a preventative maintenance tune-up or have an air conditioning or heating emergency, don’t wait. Contact us to get a free estimate today.