Do you want to increase your utility or home maintenance bills? Likely not. Unfortunately, you may inadvertently do just that. Several habits or some inattentiveness can drive up the cost of your heating and cooling. They may even cost you more money in the long run with needed repairs or replacement. Avoid the following mistakes to keep your costs low.
Leave Your Thermostat Alone
A leading cause of high utility bills is running the air conditioner for too long at too low a temperature. Truthfully, if you can feel content with a higher air temperature, you should keep it there. What’s more, either program your thermostat or manually change it to reflect slightly higher temperatures when you’re away from home.
Likewise, consider calibrating your thermostat. Just because the display flashes a temperature doesn’t mean it’s accurate. Ensure accuracy by calibrating the device because even a few degrees differential can be costly.
Void the Warranty
When you install a new HVAC unit, it should come with a warranty. First, register the warranty. Otherwise, it might be a non-starter from the get-go. Once you’ve registered the warranty, you’ll want to keep it valid.
The main way you’ll void a registered warranty is by having unlicensed technicians repair the unit. Whether you attempt the repair yourself or hire a local handyman, the fix might not meet the manufacturer’s specifications. The manufacturer requires that you hire licensed HVAC technicians to keep the warranty valid.
Fail to Maintain the Unit
Your AC unit needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Such maintenance includes the following tasks:
- Replace the air filter.
- Clean the compressor cabinet.
- Remove dirt from the coils.
- Keep the unit free of debris.
If you allow dirt or debris to accumulate in or around your HVAC unit, it may have to work harder, which will increase your energy bills. The unit itself may also burn out if the clogs are bad enough.
Position the Unit, Vents, or Thermostat Poorly
The location of your air conditioning unit will significantly impact how efficiently it works. Essentially, you want to keep it out of the sun. You can locate the unit in a naturally shady spot or install a shade cover over the unit.
The location of the vents and thermostat will also affect how efficiently you can cool your house. As with the unit itself, the thermostat should be away from a sunny area. Keep the thermostat away from heat-producing appliances because the thermostat will read the temperature as being higher than it really is. Finally, ensure the vents aren’t blocked, which would prevent proper circulation.
Neglect Your Ductwork
Speaking of vents, the area behind is equally important. Duct cleaning and maintenance is important to keep your inside environment pleasant. However, the general condition of your ducts can also affect how efficiently your home cools. For example, if you have leaks in the ductwork, conditioned air may escape into useless spaces.
You’ll want to seal your ducts. You could try duct tape, but, despite its name, it usually won’t hold up to the job over time. Foil-backed tape is a better bet. You may want licensed technicians to perform this job. Likewise, consider adding more insulation around your ducts.
Run the Unit When You Smell Burning
Sometimes you’ll turn on your HVAC unit and smell a foul odor. Typically, said odors simply indicate you need a professional cleaning and/or new filter. However, one odor can be a sign of a deeper issue — a burning smell.
A burning smell usually means something inside your unit is burning, and that’s not good. It may be the wires, the motor, or any other electrical component of the unit that’s short-circuiting. When you run the unit despite the smell, you may end up damaging or destroying it. You may even end up with a fire.
Don’t throw your money away because of HVAC issues. Contact Custom Comfort Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling LLC, for all your heating and cooling needs.