We know some things because we’ve seen some things! Nobody is perfect but review this list and you can avoid the top 9 HVAC mistakes homeowners make.
- Not changing/cleaning filter often enough
- Turning the AC off when leaving the house
- Putting a thermostat in a convenient location instead of the proper location
- Leaving windows/doors open while AC is running
- Not getting at least an annual maintenance inspection
- Letting plants and/or debris crowd around their unit
- Failing to call a professional at the FIRST sign of a problem
- Closing doors to rooms or blocking off vents
- Trying to fix it themselves… They turn a $50 problem into a $500 problem
Not changing/cleaning filter often enough
Sometimes life takes ahold of us and we forget even the simplest of tasks. One such task includes changing your AC filter on a regular basis. Depending on what kind of filter you have, you need to either clean it or change it on a monthly basis. We find the best way to remember this is to simply set a reoccurring reminder in your phone’s calendar. It is very important to the life expectancy of your AC unit that the filter stays clean. It is responsible for keeping your evaporator coil clean, which helps your unit run as efficiently as possible. When your filter is dirty, the system must work a lot harder to circulate air properly. So not only does changing your filter routinely increase the lifespan of your HVAC system, but it also can keep your electricity costs down.
Turning the AC off when leaving the house
Some people still think that turning their AC off when leaving the house is the most efficient protocol to follow. It may be true that your system won’t use electricity if it is turned off. This theory forgets to consider the strain on the system when returning to a comfortable temperature. We have a detailed article titled “Stop Turning Your AC Off” for you to read more in-depth about this. The short version is, decrease your temperature in the winter and increase it in the summer. This allows your unit to operate more efficiently, while still not having to work overtime to resume a comfortable level.
Putting a thermostat in a convenient location instead of the proper location
There are lots of new thermostats available on the market. Sometimes homeowners try to replace their own without consulting a qualified technician. This can lead to improper placement because they think that the most convenient spot is the best spot. There are many factors to consider when installing a thermostat. These range from ensuring it is in a central area, on an interior wall, unobstructed by doors and furniture, not in the air path of an air vent, and at a proper height. This list is not all-inclusive and only intended to show why a professional should install your thermostat.
Leaving windows/doors open while AC is running
There is no quicker way to lose your cool, air-conditioned air than to open the front door and let it go out. This may seem like common sense, but people do it all the time. Whether it’s leaving an exterior door open because traffic keeps going in and out, or a teenager wants to have some fresh air while they sleep. Anytime an opening to the outside is opened, you are losing money because your HVAC system must recondition the air.
Not getting at least an annual maintenance inspection
One common myth that homeowners have about their HVAC system, is that a regular maintenance plan is a waste of money. This is just simply not the truth and is one of the most common HVAC mistakes. As one of the best ways to extend your unit’s lifespan, these plans serve to find and remedy small issues that could turn into big ones. Our Customer Care Plans also come with other benefits that you should read about. Another major benefit is that the maintenance inspections also include a cleaning that enables your AC to operate as efficiently as possible. Just like we have said numerous times over the years, Yes, HVAC maintenance plans are worth it!
Letting plants and/or debris crowd around their unit
We understand that not everyone wants their air conditioner in view of everyone and everything. Some people try to remedy this issue by hiding them with plants or other types of structure. While there are acceptable routes to accomplish this, you need to remember to leave room around the unit. Any future maintenance could require access to the system, so there should always be enough space for a technician to easily access it. HVAC units also operate more efficiently when the air can flow unobstructed.
Failing to call a professional at the FIRST sign of a problem
Procrastination seems to be the default tactic for some people. AC maintenance is not an area to practice this technique. If you are experiencing HVAC issues, you should contact a technician ASAP. You may think that a different noise or decreased comfort will just go away, but it won’t. Solving an issue before it becomes a catastrophe is better for your comfort and your bank account. This is because the problem can possibly be fixed before a series of problems occur.
Closing doors to rooms or blocking off vents
When an air conditioner is installed, there are many factors that factor into the final unit’s size. A lot of people think that they can close off sections of their house that they are not using, and it will help to cool off their used areas. They try to achieve this by shutting interior doors and/or closing the vents in those rooms. Essentially what this does is change the size of your home as far as air conditioning is concerned. That means that whatever size AC unit and ductwork you have in your home is now oversized.
Trying to fix it themselves… They turn a $50 problem into a $500 problem
We understand that some people are handier or more mechanically inclined than others may be. This does not mean that it is a good idea to try and troubleshoot or repair your own HVAC system. The combination of electricity, liquids, and gasses makes an AC unit quite complicated. Thereby creating dangerous HVAC mistakes. If you accidentally crimp a line, you just made it worse. If you energize a component at the wrong time, you could render it fried. Essentially, what may be a simple fix can be greatly complicated by a homeowner trying to repair their own systems.
HVAC Mistakes In Review
In the end, most of these topics may seem like common sense, but they are the top 9 HVAC mistakes homeowners make. If you need an HVAC technician, make sure to call Beahan’s Heat and Air at (850) 866-2273. Have you heard of an HVAC mistake not listed here? Let us know in the comments below!