Five Common AC Mistakes That Cost You Money

Posted on: 12 August 2020


You depend on your air conditioner to cool your home, which means making sure you operating it correctly. There are common mistakes that many homeowners make, though, that could be leading to higher bills or less efficient cooling.

1. Turning Down the AC for Quicker Cooling

If your home is warm, it can be tempting to turn down the AC all the way in an effort to cool it faster. Unfortunately, your house will still cool at the same rate of speed no matter how low you set the thermostat. A better option is to invest in a programmable thermostat. This way you can set the AC for a warmer temperature when no one is home, but it will automatically cool the house to a more comfortable setting before you normally get back.

2. The Larger the AC, the Better It Cools

An oversize AC unit may seem like a great way to really cool your home, but this will backfire. A too-large unit is more prone to freezing up, which will leave your house hot as you wait for the coils to thaw out. The unit will also cycle more frequently if it's oversized for your home, which will cause premature wear that will lead to the need for expensive repairs or replacement. Instead, opt for a unit that is sized to your home.

3. Thermostat Placement Doesn't Matter

There is an ideal spot for the thermostat in your home. This spot will be on an interior wall that isn't in direct sunlight or exposed to heat from any nearby appliances. This is generally in a hall or living room. Placing a thermostat near heat, even the radiant heat from a wall that backs to the exterior of the home, can result in a false reading of the temperature inside your home. This will affect cooling.

4. Ceiling Fans Provide Cool Air

Ceiling fans don't provide any cool air, they simply circulate the air that is already in your home. You can't use fans as a replacement for air conditioning, but they can help increase your AC's efficiency by distributing the air evenly throughout a room. Just make sure the fan is on its summer setting, which means its turning counterclockwise and pushing the air down. Most fans have a switch on the housing that changes the direction.

5. Filter Changes Are the Only Necessary Maintenance

Don't make the mistake of only calling for service when the AC breaks down. All too often, homeowners simply change the filter a couple of times a year and call it good. An AC needs annual maintenance, where a tech will check that everything is working properly, will clean the interior and exterior unit, and will lubricate all the moving parts.

Contact an HVAC contractor in your area for more help with your AC system.