What Mistakes Cause Air Conditioners to Run Less Efficiently?

It’s tempting to set your air conditioning unit to your desired temperature and let it be. Unfortunately, AC systems rely on a delicate balance of environmental and mechanical factors. If anything is amiss, you could be hurting your AC unit’s efficiency — or even opening yourself up to health problems as well as large energy bills.
Air conditioners require continual maintenance and conscientious operation to do their best. When AC maintenance is done correctly, you can minimize your emergency calls to an air conditioning service in Weston or Needham.

Here are the mistakes to avoid when operating your system and what to do instead.

Not Changing The Filter

Your air conditioner’s filter catches all the dust and debris that’s caught in the air. This is a great benefit to your unit as it helps remove lingering allergens and microbes. However, that only happens if you regularly replace the filter.
By contrast, a dirty filter can actually obstruct airflow, which impairs the evaporator coil’s function. As a result, condensation builds up, leaking from the unit and potentially flooding the drain line. Worse, excess moisture creates the perfect environment for mold, bacteria, and other microbes to grow.
A dirty filter also makes your system work harder, raising your energy bill and shortening your unit’s lifespan. As filters are relatively inexpensive, don’t take the risk: replace the filter regularly to keep the air flowing smoothly.

Not Cleaning Your System

Even with a clean filter, your air conditioner accumulates a lot of dust, moisture, and microbes over time. The evaporator coils can become coated with debris, impacting their efficiency. Dust may build up within the ducts and vents, blocking airflow. The only way to clear these blockages is to call in professional AC repair for your Needham or Weston home.

Blocking Your Vents

Depending on your home, your AC vents may be on the ceiling, wall, or floor. If the latter, it’s all too easy to accidentally block vents, impeding airflow and leading your thermostat to mistake the temperature. This could cause your AC unit to run more often than it needs to. Also, dust from your furniture can further obstruct the vents.

Leaving Too Many Vents Open

Do you have rooms that go unoccupied most of the time, such as guest bedrooms or storage areas? Consider closing the vents to those rooms, then shutting the door. This prevents your AC unit from wasting energy on cooling rooms that no one is spending time in.

Running Your AC Too Low

Once you set your thermostat below 75, you’ve instantly raised your AC bill by at least 3 percent — and that number continues increasing for each drop in temperature. Most people can live comfortably indoors in the high 70s. To save on your energy bill and prolong the life of your AC, avoid the temptation to set your AC to Arctic temperatures. If you still feel hot, use oscillating and ceiling fans to cool yourself off.

Allowing Too Much Sunlight to Enter

We all love natural light, but especially with south- or west-facing windows, you may be letting your home get too hot from the sun. The warmer the temperature, the more your AC will have to work. Invest in sunblocking shades to reduce ambient heat and keep your room cool. You can always open the shades or blinds in the morning when the rays are not as intense.

The Thermostat is in The Wrong Spot

What if your thermostat is in a room that stays warm all day? In that case, your system will operate as though the entire house is above your thermostat setting. That means your AC will run more often, which could cause some rooms to be unbearably cold while others remain hot.
To fix this issue, you’ll need to reposition your thermostat. Reach out to your local air conditioning service in Weston or AC repair in Needham to correct the issue.

The Unit is Surrounded by Foliage

If your AC unit is ductless, central, or a window unit, there’s typically a component in your yard. Keep the unit free of plant life that could obstruct its function. Weeds and shrubs can introduce debris, seeds, and fungal spores, as well as impede airflow. When maintaining your lawn, be sure to cut back any grass or shrubs around the exterior portion of your HVAC system.

Wrapping Up

With a bit of diligence and regular maintenance, you can prolong your AC unit’s lifespan and enhance its efficiency. The cleaner your home and the system itself, the better! Greater energy efficiency reduces your power bill, wards off costly repairs, and keeps your home more comfortable.
When in doubt, reach out to your local air conditioning service and repair in Weston or Needham. They can help you identify obstacles to your AC’s optimal performance. Plus, they’ll provide the regular cleaning that will keep your unit in tip-top shape.
Need help? Reach out to Sinclaire Home Services for expert AC repair and maintenance that keeps your home comfortable, cool, and energy-efficient.