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Top Mistakes Homeowners Make With Their AC

Let’s face it: summers in New Jersey are a lot of fun. But, dealing with the summer heat isn't exactly enjoyable. This means we must rely on our air conditioners, even if that means the utility bill rises.

Running the air conditioner doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Not only is electricity expensive, but the process of generating electricity also releases harmful emissions into our atmosphere.

Here are the top 10 air conditioning mistakes that are made most often. Avoiding making these mistakes will both reduce utility bills and contribute to a safer environment. Get back to relaxing during the dog days of summer in no time with some simple adjustments!

#1 The Air Conditioner Isn't the Right Size

Homeowners are often tempted to install larger air conditioners, thinking bigger is better. Unfortunately, that's not the case when it comes to effectively air conditioning a home.

AC units are designed to efficiently cool a certain amount of space. If it's too small, it won't be able to produce enough cool air. And, if it's too big, while it will still cool the home, the system actually has to work harder.

Having the right-sized air conditioner is essential to its optimal operation.

#2 The Air Conditioner is Installed in the Wrong Place

The location of the unit is vital to its performance. Here are some things to think about.

  • The air conditioner shouldn't be located where the sun shines directly on it. It will heat the unit, make it work harder, and the heat can cause harmful wear on the internal components, causing potential repair issues.

  • Your unit needs plenty of ventilation. Make sure that there aren't any weeds or shrubbery near it. It's a good idea to have at least a couple of feet of clearance around the air conditioner.

  • Periodically check to make sure leaves and other debris aren't collecting around the air conditioner. They'll block the airflow.

#3 If It’s Broke, It May Be Time to Ditch It

Air conditioners only last for so long. As they age, repairs and maintenance can make them cost more than replacing them would. And, newer, energy-efficient air conditioners will cost less to operate. If you feel that your AC just doesn’t work like it used to, it may be time to consider installing a new one.

#4 Not Having a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat uses less energy because it tells the air conditioner what to do and when to do it. That way, it's not keeping the temperature as cool when it doesn't need to be.

#5 Setting the Temperature too Low

There's really no such thing as blasting the air conditioner. It runs at the same rate until it reaches the desired temperature regardless of what that temperature is. Setting it too low won't get it there any quicker.

#6 Clearance Around the Thermostat

The thermostat tells your air conditioner what temperature the room is. Keeping lamps or other items that produce heat near the thermostat can make it think that the room is warmer than it really is, causing the air to kick on.

#7 Knowing When to Use Fans

They can both help and hurt an air conditioner. A ceiling fan does a great job of circulating the cool air if it's turning in the right direction, counter-clockwise, so it's pushing the air down.

And, exhaust fans should be used sparingly. They will pull the cooled air out quickly.

#8 Closing Vents

While closing vents in rooms that aren't used may seem to make sense and serve as a way to reduce energy consumption, it can actually make it worse. To run optimally, your air conditioner needs to cool the entire home.

#9 Leaving Windows and Doors Open

The house needs to be completely closed for the air conditioner to run at its best. Opening windows and doors, even on cooler days, to get some fresh air isn't doing the air conditioner any good. It's one or the other.

#10 Maintenance

Too often, air conditioners aren't inspected or serviced unless something goes wrong. Having a regularly scheduled professional maintenance inspection is essential. It's the best way to make sure everything is running as efficiently as it should be.

If you need help with your old, malfunctioning air conditioner, trust our experts at Harris. At Harris Plumbing, Heating, Air & Propane, we are focused on customer satisfaction. We love seeing our customers happy and comfortable in their own homes. Harris Plumbing Heating Air Propane is proud to be an authorized dealer of the major brands you trust, including Goodman, Lennox, Samsung, Rinnai, Bradford White. Give us a call today at (856) 522-4492 and receive fast, same-day service in Gloucester, Camden, Salem, and Cumberland Counties.

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