Central heating and cooling systems make life much more comfortable by keeping temperatures at pleasant levels. This is especially true during summer when households will need cooling to keep interiors comfortable. Even if you live in areas with excellent natural ventilation, your HVAC system isn’t something you should take for granted.
While heating and cooling units keep homes comfortable, they can be costly to use if they’re not utilized properly. In fact, some actions you thought were harmless can actually ramp up your energy costs. Here are the nine mistakes you should avoid to prevent excessive utility costs.
1. Neglecting Regular HVAC Maintenance
Before the summer or winter seasons start, be sure to have your HVAC unit inspected and maintained by a professional contractor. Skipping out on seasonal HVAC maintenance puts your system at risk by letting undetected problems persist, such as malfunctioning parts. If your unit has malfunctioning components, your HVAC system cannot perform at 100% capacity and could be working harder than it should, which leads to higher utility costs and wear-and-tear.
2. Putting the Air Conditioner in a Hot Spot
While it appears to be more convenient to put your air conditioner in a warm spot of your home to make it cooler, this actually uses up more energy and makes the AC unit work twice as hard just to keep the room comfortable. Instead, you can put your air conditioning in a spot where there’s less direct sunlight hitting the unit.
3. Blocking Your AC Vents
Blocking off the vents with furniture or other obstructions disrupts the heat circulation around your room. In turn, some homeowners turn up the temperature to compensate for this, which could strain your air conditioning unit and compel you to ask for air condition repair. Be sure to keep tall objects like furniture and house plants away from your vents to maximize the airflow around your home and save on cooling costs.
4. Shutting Doors to Rooms Inside Your Home
Be mindful not to shut doors in your home while your HVAC system is running. If a room doesn’t have an air vent, shutting the doors won’t allow cool air to circulate around your home. This isolates the cold air into one space, which wastes a lot of energy. Not only does the extended use of your cooling system cause a spike in your home’s energy bills, but it can also shorten your HVAC system’s lifespan. Always keep your doors to your rooms open, even if you’re not using them. If you have a limited number of return vents in your rooms, your air condition service contractor recommends trimming off a few inches on the bottom of your door. This allows some degree of ventilation even if the doors are closed.
5. Ignoring Your Home’s Ductwork
Your HVAC ducts are the main mode of delivery of cold and warm air around your home. If you run into problems with your ductwork, the entire performance of your HVAC system can be compromised. We recommend having your ductwork inspected by an HVAC professional every two to five years to ensure everything is performing normally.
If you have smokers, multiple pets or children in your home, we recommend having them inspected more frequently. This is to ensure that the air circulating around your home is clean since they are more prone to respiratory problems caused by poor air quality. Fully functioning air ducts also make your home more comfortable. Don’t hesitate to have your ducts repaired by an HVAC and air condition repair specialist to prevent problems in the long run.
6. Leaving the AC Running All Day
While it’s true that you shouldn’t shut off your AC unit even if you’re away, you should still consider installing a smart thermostat so that the temperature in your home is regulated properly. Keeping an AC unit running at a constant temperature could be wasteful once the exterior temperature changes.
7. Misusing Your Ceiling Fans
It’s a common misconception among many homeowners that you should only use either your ceiling fan or your air conditioning unit. In fact, they shouldn’t be considered as a solid substitute for your ceiling fan as it should be used in conjunction to easily distribute the cold air around your room or your home.
8. Don’t Get an Oversized Unit
One common and costly mistake that homeowners make is purchasing an air conditioner unit that is too large for their space. They think that a bigger unit means better cooling. This results in excessive energy consumption and takes up too much space in your home than necessary. Before getting one, make sure that the air conditioner you plan to get is the right size for your home. While a larger unit can cool a home quickly, it’ll have trouble reducing the indoor humidity because of the limited space.
9. Repeatedly Adjusting Your Temperature Settings
Little do homeowners know that repeatedly adjusting their thermostat wastes energy in the long run. It’s a common misconception that setting your thermostat to a low temperature cools your home faster. If you want to fully utilize your home’s HVAC system while keeping your utility costs at reasonable levels, consider getting a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat lets you adjust your home’s temperature depending on your specific needs. You can set a schedule for your thermostat to adjust the temperature any time of the day. You can set it to a cooler temperature during the afternoon and set it a little bit higher during the breezy evenings. This feature is especially useful if you tend to forget adjusting your thermostat as needed.
Call on EZ Air Conditioning and Heating for all your heating and cooling needs. We are the premier air condition service and repair contractor in the area. We stand out from our competition through our superior performance and tailor-made options for our customers. Call us at (210) 558-7883, or fill out our contact form for a FREE, no-obligation quote.