Sensible air-conditioning use is not just about saving on electricity bills. It’s also about making sure that you get to maximize your air-conditioning unit and use it for a long time with only minimal repairs. Lots of people often commit mistakes with their heating and air-conditioning systems, which leads to lesser efficiency and effectiveness, as well as health risks.
According to Mark Mendell, a staff scientist from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, “If you have a badly maintained system, it can become contaminated with microorganisms that may be harmful if inhaled.” He added that allergies and asthma problems as some harmful problems that a contaminated AC system can pose to one’s health.
This is why it’s essential to know the common mistakes that you may be making with your AC unit. Making simple adjustments will save your wallet and lungs in the long run. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
You Don’t Change or Clean the Filters
Filters on your air-conditioning unit should be changed once every quarter. If your system is running practically 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you should change its filters at least once a month. What happens when you neglect to do this? The filters will get dirty, which can result in poor airflow. Your AC’s evaporator coil can also freeze up. Having a dirty filter can add as much as 15 percent to your electric bill and shorten the lifespan of your unit as well.
Replacing filters is generally inexpensive—it should not cause you more than $15, so it’s a very cost-effective measure. If you have one of those ductless AC units, you only need to wipe off the filter using a rag; no filter replacement is needed.
Your Thermostat Setting is Too Low
The human body is capable of adapting to cool or hot temperatures quickly, just within a week or two. This is something to think about whenever you’re adjusting the thermostat to lower temperatures.
If you know you can trim up to three percent off your electric bill for every degree you increase the temperature, you will most likely sacrifice the sweating period involved as you adjust your body to higher temperatures. And, of course, there are various environmental benefits when you use your thermostat correctly.
You Haven’t Upgraded to a Programmable Thermostat
Speaking of which, having a programmable thermostat is a must to save tons on your AC bill. Not all people will always remember to adjust the thermostat before they leave the house. Save hundreds of dollars by having a thermostat that will raise the temperature automatically during those times of the day when you’re away from home. With the smart thermostats that can be controlled by mobile phones, this should become a simpler task for you.
You Have Poorly Positioned Thermostat and Vents
If your thermostat is constantly exposed to the rays of the sun or a lamp, this could cause an error in its temperature readings and make it crank your air-conditioning up even though the room is already cool. Your system may be working overtime because of this, especially if you’re not at home during the day.
You’re Chilling Unoccupied Rooms
It’s best to close the AC vents in the unoccupied rooms of your home to save that air. Cooling unoccupied spaces is not practical and will add more to your electric bill. You should also close closet doors as well because those enclosed spaces can swallow up your cold air.
You Don’t Use Fans
Even the most durable AC units can benefit from taking a breather even just once during the day. Why not make use of fans during the daytime or those times when you can tolerate warmer temperatures? Installing fans throughout your house (ceiling fans are especially great) will remove a considerable burden from your AC units.
You Avoid Replacing Your Unit
Air-conditioning units are not immortal, and there will come a time that you will need to replace your unit. You don’t have to wait until it doesn’t work anymore. When your unit is around ten years old, most likely it’s not running as efficiently as it used to be. Keeping old units can increase your AC bills. You will save more money in the long run if you invest in a newer and more efficient unit.
Your air-conditioning system should be regularly checked to make sure it’s running as efficiently as it should. Have a professional look at your unit at least once a year and only seek service contractors to do the job.