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Beating the Heat: 4 Common A/C Mistakes to Avoid This Summer

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Primary Blog/HVAC/Beating the Heat: 4 Common A/C Mistakes to Avoid This Summer

Summer is a time for relaxation, family barbecues, and enjoying the great outdoors. However, it's also the season when your air conditioning (A/C) unit works overtime to keep your home cool and comfortable. For homeowners, maintaining an efficient A/C system is crucial for not only staying comfortable but also saving on energy bills.

Mistake #1: Neglecting Regular Maintenance

The Importance of Routine Check-Ups
One of the most common mistakes is skipping regular maintenance checks. A/C units need regular servicing to operate efficiently. Neglecting these check-ups can lead to minor issues escalating into major problems, resulting in higher repair costs and extended downtime. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

What Routine Maintenance Involves
Routine maintenance typically includes cleaning or replacing filters, checking temperature splits, inspecting electrical components, and ensuring all parts are functioning correctly. These tasks might seem minor, but they significantly impact your unit's performance and longevity.

Scheduling Professional Inspections
While some maintenance tasks can be done by homeowners, it’s advisable to schedule professional inspections at least once a year. HVAC professionals have the expertise to spot potential issues that might go unnoticed and can provide solutions before they turn into costly repairs.

Mistake #2: Incorrect Thermostat Settings

The Consequences of Poor Settings
Incorrect thermostat settings can lead to an overworked A/C unit and increased energy bills. Many homeowners set their thermostats too low, thinking it will cool their homes faster. However, this forces the unit to work harder than necessary, leading to wear and tear.

Ideal Thermostat Practices
Set your thermostat to a comfortable but efficient temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78°F when you’re at home and higher when you’re away. My recommendation is I would stay no higher than 75°F any time of day and the use of a programmable thermostat can help manage these settings automatically, ensuring optimal efficiency.

Embracing Smart Technology
Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. These devices learn your schedule and preferences, adjusting the temperature accordingly to save energy. Some models can even be controlled remotely via smartphone apps, giving you more control over your home’s climate.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Airflow Issues

The Role of Proper Airflow
Proper airflow is crucial for the efficient operation of your A/C unit. Blockages or restrictions in airflow can cause the unit to overheat, reduce its efficiency, and increase energy consumption. Common causes of airflow issues include blocked vents, dirty filters, and obstructed outdoor units.

Identifying and Fixing Blockages
Regularly check and clean your A/C filters to prevent dirt and debris from restricting airflow. Ensure that vents are not blocked by furniture, curtains, or other household items. Additionally, keep the area around your outdoor unit clear of plants, leaves, and debris.

When to Call a Professional
If you notice weak airflow or unusual noises coming from your A/C unit, it’s best to call a professional. These could be signs of more serious issues, such as ductwork problems or failing components, which require expert attention to diagnose and repair.

Mistake #4: Ignoring Air Filter Changes

First up, and I can't stress this enough – do not ignore your air filters! A dirty filter is a major culprit in reducing your A/C's efficiency. It restricts airflow, forcing your system to work harder, which can lead to increased energy bills and a shorter lifespan for your unit. Make it a routine to check your filter every month and replace it at least every three months.

Final Thoughts: Keeping Your Cool

Summarizing Key Points

Maintaining an efficient A/C system is essential for a comfortable and cost-effective summer. By avoiding common mistakes such as neglecting maintenance, setting incorrect thermostat temperatures, ignoring airflow issues, and overlooking insulation, you can ensure your unit runs smoothly and efficiently.

Taking Action

Now that you’re equipped with these tools, take the necessary steps to avoid these pitfalls. Schedule regular maintenance checks, set your thermostat wisely, monitor and improve airflow, and ensure your home is well-insulated. These proactive measures will help you enjoy a cool, hassle-free summer.

Further Resources

For more tips on maintaining your A/C unit and improving home energy efficiency, consider reaching out to HVAC professionals or visiting reputable online resources. Staying informed and proactive can make all the difference in keeping your home comfortable and your energy bills manageable.

​By following these guidelines, you’ll not only extend the life of your A/C unit but also create a more comfortable living environment for you and your family.

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Hi, I'm Derek Cole

GM, Simmons One Hour Heating and Air

With a career spanning over two decades in the HVAC industry, Derek Cole has climbed his way to becoming General Manager of Simmons One Hour. His impressive journey was recognized by News magazine who awarded him Top 40 under 40 honors, as well as Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise Player Spotlight feature. Notable networks such as CBS, FOX and NBC have also featured him discussing home comfort tips on their programs while publications like Huffington Post and Bloomberg Business highlight his success story with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® .

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