Currently, about 87 percent of U.S. homes have some kind of air conditioning unit. Many homeowners are renters are totally clueless when it comes to taking care of their air conditioners, though.
If this sounds familiar to you, you're definitely not alone. However, it's important to learn the basics of air conditioner maintenance.
Keeping your air conditioner well-maintained will help to lower your energy bills and ensure your home stays cool during the hottest months of the year.
Read on to learn more about six common AC mistakes many homeowners make. You'll also learn some great AC tips to help you avoid them.
Common AC Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
If you have an air conditioner in your home or apartment, there's a good chance you've made at least one of these common mistakes. Here are things to avoid if you want your air conditioner to last:
1. Not Changing or Cleaning Filters
One of the biggest air conditioner mistakes people make is neglecting to change or clean their filters on a regular basis.
If you don't do this, your air conditioner will not run in the most efficient way possible. You'll also end up breathing in a lot of dust, dirt, and other toxins.
2. Skipping Your Annual Service
Make sure you have your air conditioner serviced once a year, too.
Even if everything seems to be working fine, having a professional come out and take a look will ensure that things stay that way.
This will help you catch issues early on and take steps to prevent them from getting worse.
3. Setting Your Thermostat Too Low
Avoid setting the temperature on your thermostat too low, too.
This will cause your energy bill to skyrocket. It's not great for the planet, either.
If you're worried about reducing your carbon footprint at all, adjusting the temperature on your thermostat is a great place to start.
4. Not Using Fans
Many people rely on their air conditioner as the sole mechanism for keeping their house cool.
Air conditioners can be very effective, but you can make them more effective by using fans in a strategic way. Use fans, especially ceiling fans, to make sure cool air circulates throughout your entire home.
This relieves some of the burden placed on your air conditioner and can increase its lifespan as a result.
5. Blocking Your Vents
Make sure you don't have furniture or other items blocking your air vents.
This affects the air circulation in your home and causes your air conditioner to work overtime to try and keep things cool.
Take a look around your house and rearrange your furniture to allow for maximum airflow.
6. Cooling Empty Rooms
Avoid pumping cold air into empty rooms, too.
Close the vents in rooms that are unoccupied. That way, more cool air will be directed toward parts of your house that people actually use on a regular basis.
Bonus AC Maintenance Tips
There's definitely a lot that can go wrong with your air conditioner if you're not careful. If you avoid the mistakes listed above, though, you can avoid many of the common AC issues people tend to experience.
If you're interested in trying to learn more about how to maintain your air conditioner and ensure it runs smoothly, here are some bonus tips that can help:
Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat will help you to avoid dropping temperatures too low.
You might even want to consider investing in a smart thermostat. That way, you'll be able to adjust the temperature in your home even when you're away.
Add an In-Line Duct Booster
If your home or apartment has forced-air cooling, you may want to invest in an in-line duct booster. This tool is very helpful, especially when you have one area of your home or apartment that tends to be hotter than the others.
An in-line duct booster fits inside the air duct and turns on automatically when your air conditioner is running. It helps to send additional cool air into that room and keep the temperature in your home consistent.
Close Your Windows
This is a simple tip, but you'd be surprised at how many people don't think to close their windows when they're complaining about the heat in their homes.
Closing the blinds or curtains during the hottest part of the day will help to cool down your home and minimize the need to have the AC blasting.
Check the Insulation
If the insulation around your outdoor AC lines is rotted or damaged in some way, you might end up dealing with an air conditioner that doesn't run very efficiently. Take a look at the insulation and replace it if necessary.
Locate and Seal Air Leaks
Walk around your home and check for air leaks. Pay attention to windows and doors to see if there are gaps that are causing cool air to spill out.
Seal up these cracks as soon as you can. That way, you won't waste your hard-earned money cooling the air outside.
Know When to Replace Your Unit
Finally, know when it's time to throw the towel in on an old air conditioner. Sometimes, all the maintenance in the world is not enough to keep a unit running.
If you have had your air conditioner for a long time (ten years or more), or if you're constantly paying for repairs, it's probably time to invest in a new one.
You'll have to spend more money up front when you do this, but you'll likely end up saving more money later on.
Learn More AC Tips Today
As you can see, there are a lot of mistakes that people tend to make when it comes to using and caring for their air conditioners.
If you keep these AC tips in mind, though, you'll be less likely to make these mistakes and will get more (and better) use out of your air conditioning unit.
Do you want to learn more about maintaining your air conditioner? Do you need more home maintenance tips in general? Either way, we've got you covered.
Check out the Home Improvement section of our site today for all kinds of advice and information.