We’re in the heart (and heat) of summer where we tend to make some common mistakes when using our air conditioner. From cranking the AC to running fans and closing vents in empty rooms, this blog post will cover some of the most common HVAC mistakes to avoid this summer. So show your AC some love this summer, and when it’s time for service or replacement, call your local NATE-certified technicians at Dyess Air & Plumbing!
Bad Air Conditioning Habits That Cost You Money
At one point or another, most homeowners have partaken in air conditioning and HVAC bad habits. Whether it’s something you heard from a friend or read on a random website, we’ve all committed at least one crime against our air conditioner, usually in an effort to save money. Sometimes we do these things and think they’re “helping the AC system” when in fact, the opposite is true.
Thermostat Mistakes That Make Your System Work Harder
The thermostat is to the air conditioner what the remote is to the TV, but the reality is that we shouldn’t use and adjust it as much as we do, especially during the summer. The first rule of thumb is the Department of Energy’s recommendation to set your thermostat to 78 °F. Dropping the temperature to arctic levels in an attempt to cool the house faster will only add more stress to your system. Time is a friend to you and your air conditioner, so set a reasonable temperature, and give your system time to cool your home. A common misconception is that you should turn off your air conditioner when you leave your house for more than two hours, but unless you’re leaving on vacation for days or weeks, this actually forces your system to work harder to cool your home once you return. Instead, opt to set the thermostat at a higher temp for when you are gone.
Another helpful tip is to install a programmable thermostat to help maintain a constant temperature inside your home without the need for constant adjustment. An important follow up to this is actually learning how to use your programmable thermostat because if you don’t know how to use it, it’s about as useful as an old, non-programmable thermostat. Our friendly technicians at Dyess Air & Plumbing are happy to help you get familiar with your thermostat so you can enjoy a comfortable home this summer.
Fans Only Cool People
The most important thing to remember about fans is that they only cool people! Fans running in an empty room serve no purpose except to waste electricity. Fans can help you feel cooler, which means you can run your AC a little less than you would without a fan. All fans do is keep people cool. No people around? Don’t use the fan.
Leave Vents Open in Empty and Unused Rooms
Unless you have a huge family with members who tend to spend their time at home apart from one another and inhabiting every room in your house, you will likely have at least one empty room in your home during the summer. Many homeowners figure that the AC unit will not have to work as hard if it doesn’t have to cool empty rooms, so people tend to close off vents in uninhabited or unused rooms. But this is actually makes your AC work harder and can lead increase the pressure in your ducts. So this summer, leave the vents in your rooms open.
External Factors That Affect Your HVAC System
In addition to building better habits with our AC unit this summer, there are also factors outside of the HVAC system that have a significant impact on its efforts. First, your home’s insulation is important, and if your house is poorly insulated, your AC unit will have to work extremely hard to maintain a comfortable temperature. This overload can damage your system. Using your stove and oven during the day also requires your air conditioner to work extra hard to keep your house cool. Outdoor grilling is recommended during the summer, and if you must use your stove or oven, only do so in the late evening. Lastly, you should not attempt to DIY fix any part of your HVAC system because you can cause further damage that will cost you more money in the end.