Most homeowners don’t think about their air conditioner unless it stops working. We set the thermostat and just assume that our home will be cool. No, it’s not necessary to fret over your air conditioner at all hours, but there are a few items that are important to keep in mind. Ignoring these can lead to a drop in efficiency, uneven cooling, air conditioner breakdowns, and a decreased lifespan for your air conditioner. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid this summer.
- Neglecting Maintenance. Maintenance isn’t just checking refrigerant levels and changing the filter. A regular maintenance visit should identify and eliminate virtually all sources of potential breakdowns. A One Hour precision tune-up will ensure that your air conditioner remains reliable and energy efficient through the summer.
- Neglecting Existing Problems. If you think there’s a problem with your air conditioner, don’t put off having it looked at. Minor problems quickly turn into major headaches if left unchecked. Follow a regular maintenance schedule and listen to your technician if they recommend a repair, even if it seems inconsequential.
- Forgetting to Change the Filter. As simple as changing a filter is, it’s still easy to forget. A dirty filter will restrict airflow, cause strain on the blower motor, decrease cooling, and eventually freeze the coil.
- Closing Vents to Unused Rooms. It’s easy to see how this common myth keeps going. The theory — closing vents in unused rooms will save on cooling costs — seems to make sense. However, disrupting the balance of your system will decrease efficiency and raise the risk of breakdown by restricting airflow. It will also force outside air into your home to satisfy airflow demands and, if not met, will freeze the unit. Furthermore, inside walls are not insulated, so warm rooms will easily draw cool air through walls in no time, rendering the exercise futile.
- Hiding the Outdoor Unit. Your condensing unit needs plenty of room to breathe. Any walls, plants, or other items should be placed no less than 12 inches from all sides of the unit and at least 24 inches from the service side. Any structure above the unit, including roof overhangs, should be at least 48 inches above the unit.
- Overzealous Thermostat Control. Although cranking the temperature down to 60 degrees after a long day in the summer sun can be a rush, being a thermostat jockey isn’t a great idea. Your air conditioner will not blow colder air the cooler you set the thermostat. But, you will run the risk of forgetting you had turned it down and be met with a nasty energy bill. Better to find a comfortable temperature and allow your home to adjust to the climate in time.
- Putting off Replacing the Air Conditioner. Many homeowners we meet pledge to run their system until the day it dies. While this may seem like a valiant and frugal strategy, replacing an old air conditioner is usually the more cost-effective choice. The most efficient day in the life of your air conditioner was the day it was installed. It’s been losing efficiency ever since. With ultra-efficient units available today, it’s possible to pay for a new unit in utility savings alone over the course of a year. Introduce a costly repair, and an inefficient air conditioner will quickly become a money pit.
- Oversizing the Air Conditioner. A correctly sized unit is essential to maintain proper climate. Installing a unit that is too big for your home will result in unreliable cooling and high humidity. Be sure to ask your contractor to perform a heat load calculation. At One Hour, we include these at no extra charge with our free estimates.
- Choosing a Cheap Contractor. Ask any reputable heating and air conditioning contractor and you’ll get the same belief. The cheapest bid is usually the lowest quality of workmanship. The most important day in the life of your air conditioner is the day that it’s installed. A faulty installation will lead to constant repairs and a drastically reduced lifespan.
If you would like to have one of our licensed, background checked and drug tested technicians out to repair, maintain, or replace your air conditioner, call One Hour today at (816) 354-1077. One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning is a full service heating and air conditioning service company based in Lee’s Summit, MO. We provide air conditioner and heat pump repair, maintenance, and replacements in Lee’s Summit and surrounding cities like Blue Springs, Belton, and Raymore.