The air filter helps to remove dust and allergens from the air that passes through the system. These filters are usually light cardboard and wire constructs that are designed to be regularly replaced. After around six months or so, the filter will be so clogged with dirt that air will have a hard time getting through and the unit won’t be able to do its job anymore. This not only raises the volume of dust in your home but it also greatly decreases airflow and efficiency for your AC unit. You can improve energy use for your AC by 5-15% just by replacing a dirty filter, so make sure you get a new filter a couple of times a year.
2. Never Cleaning the Fins and Coils
Air conditioning evaporator coils and fins allow heat to pass from the refrigerant in the system out into the air, just as condenser coils absorb heat from inside the house. This process of moving heat is very important, but it can become impeded by layers of dust and grime. If you never check the coils, that grime is costing you money and decreasing the AC’s efficiency. Clean your AC at the beginning of the warm season and check it from time to time, especially after storms or high winds to ensure your coils and fins stay clear.
A programmable thermostat is a must. They allow you to set temperatures for various times throughout the day and automatically lower the temperature when you need it. Many advanced thermostats actually have learning capabilities, so the thermostat can shift to accommodate repeated schedules – not to mention allow you to alter the temperature from an app. If you don’t have one, you really should consider an upgrade as it will save you quite a bit of money.
4. Not Checking the Drain
Many AC systems use drains that take care of any condensation by channeling water outside the house. These can be easy to miss, but they have a very important job. If one of these drains gets clogged, then it’s bad news for your AC system and even worse news for the surrounding floors and walls, which can get permanently damaged by overflowing moisture. So keep your drain line clean, and don’t be afraid to snake it with some wire every year or two to make sure that there’s no junk accumulating inside.
This is a common mistake that comes from the old days when people didn’t know much about how AC systems work. People would often turn their thermostats down very low in hope that it would make the AC respond more quickly or work harder. It doesn’t. The AC works just as hard to lower the temperature one degree as it does to lower it 20 degrees. So program your thermostat to exactly where you want it, and not lower than what you need.
6. Ignoring Sizing RequirementsAC units are carefully sized to the number of cubic feet that they are required to cool. This is something you need to keep in mind when you are purchasing a new AC unit or renovating your house. If an AC unit is rated for a smaller space than you have, it will work too hard to cool the air, meaning that it will wear out quickly. On the other hand, if the AC unit is rated for a larger space than you have, it will constantly turn itself on and off, wearing itself out and growing undependable over time. Pay close attention to capacity and choose the right unit for the space that you have.
The initial cost of replacing your AC unit is high, but this doesn’t mean that you should avoid a new purchase. Don’t make the common error of keeping your old air conditioner long after you should. An old AC will perform poorly, costing you more money in repairs and eventually it will become more trouble than it’s worth. If your AC unit is older than 10 years, you could start saving money on your monthly bills by investing in a newer, more efficient version.
8. Never Getting Them Serviced
As we previously mentioned, most AC conditioning systems use a refrigerant that absorbs heat from the house and disperses it outdoors. This compound is very important to AC operation, but small amounts can escape over time, resulting in falling efficiency. So, how do you know if you need to add refrigerant? Arrange for an experienced technician to come out and test your AC system and adjust the refrigerant levels to the proper amounts.