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Air Conditioning Mistakes that Spike your Bills

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Air Conditioning Mistakes that Spike your Bills

Today, more than 90% of homes and nearly all business use air conditioning to beat the summer heat. Most people think they know how to maintain their system properly, whether it’s central air, a window unit, or ductless mini-splits. Many homeowners fall victim to common mistakes that waste energy, shorten the working lifespan of their air conditioner, and cost money.

  • Buying the wrong system- Try to use an air conditioner that’s correctly sized for your home. An oversized unit may cycle on and off too quickly. This will result in ineffectively removing humidity and will not maintain uniform temperatures. On the other hand, a too-small unit will need to run constantly, which will ultimately shorten the lifespan drastically. Consideration each room’s square footage, layout, insulation and function.
  • Cooling an empty room- Upgrade to a programmable thermostat to avoid wasting both money and energy on cooling an empty house. This technology allows you to raise and lower the temperature of your AC based on preset schedule. This can save you hundreds of dollars annually. Do you have unoccupied rooms? Boost your energy efficiency by closing vents in those rooms as well as keeping closet and cabinet door shut so excess air doesn’t get in.
  • Putting the AC unit in direct sunlight- We all know air conditioners aren’t the most attractive items in a landscape, but homeowners shouldn’t try to “hide” the unit in an inopportune spot. The location of an air conditioner has a great impact on its energy efficiency. Try installing it in a shady spot. Too much direct sunlight will make the system work harder. Also, do not place plants or shrubs too close to the unit, as these will impede ventilation causing the condenser coils to clog.
  • Poorly positioning the thermostat and vents- Thermostats should be properly positioned for accuracy reasons. Placing the thermostat in direct sunlight or near heat-producing lights gives an inaccurate reading, causing the air conditioner to work overtime. Also, make sure not to block vents with furniture or curtains as this will inhibit proper air circulation.
  • Setting the thermostat too low- Homeowners have a bad habit of setting their thermostat much lower than needed. Adjusting to a higher setting will cut your AC cost around 3% for every degree you raise the temperature.
  • Not cleaning the coils- Out door condensers and evaporator coils should always be well maintained. Condensers and coils can clog up with dirt, which blocks airflow and insulates the coils, reducing their ability to manage heat efficiently. Try not to place your AC components near dryer vents. Remove fallen leaves, grass clippings, and other debris to prevent clogging.

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