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AC Mistakes That Are Costing You Money

Published May 16, 2023
AC Mistakes That Are Costing You Money

With our 88-degree summer highs in Gaffney, SC, turning off your air conditioner leaves you feeling the instant defeat of the heat. The air begins immediately warming again, and lethargy keeps you from daily activities. However, it’s understandable that most residents power down their units when possible to save on monthly charges, but learning about AC mistakes costing you money can help you find a middle ground.

Childers Heating & Air Conditioning has been around since 1951, giving us over 70 years of experience servicing systems in Gaffney and surrounding South Carolina areas. Our professional technicians have seen it all within that time and know what your unit needs to remain functioning optimally. Consider these tips from our HVAC experts in Gaffney, SC to save money while running your AC this summer!

Installation Mistakes

Unfortunately, not all technicians match you with or correctly install your new AC unit, causing issues from the moment of installation. Below are common mistakes made that lead to high cooling costs.

  • Improper Unit Sizes
  • Incorrectly Placed

Improper Unit Sizes

While you may believe an oversized cooling system provides faster relief, it’ll lead to short cycling, where the unit powers on for less than the traditional seven-to-ten-minute interval. Your home won’t uniformly cool within this time, leaving uncomfortable hot and cold spots throughout. The constant powering on and off causes the system to overheat and wear prematurely while raising utility bills.

Undersized units are just as off-putting since they have a smaller cooling capacity than you need, resulting in long cycles lasting over ten minutes. Long cycling causes the system to overwork itself, running parts excessively and leading to components deteriorating and electricity bills rising by constantly pulling from your local energy grid.

Your unit size should heavily correlate with the space you want to cool. An expert should measure the square footage of your home or room while taking note of ceiling height and points of entry that may be affecting cooling efficiency. They’ll use this to determine the appropriate unit BTU (British Thermal Unit) level, which is how much heat the system can move per hour, to choose the correct unit size.

Incorrectly Placed

Incorrect system placement is one of the biggest AC mistakes that could be costing you money. It affects performance, especially in sunnier spots that place excess heat on the outer condenser unit, causing it to combat higher temperatures. The system will not only overheat, possibly leading to premature breakdowns, but also work harder, lowering its lifespan so that you need a costly replacement sooner. Other placement issues to remain aware of include the following:

  • Keeping your unit away from outdoor obstructions like overgrown shrubs and piled-up debris to increase ventilation for optimal efficiency
  • Removing your thermostat from areas that receive extra heat, such as near stoves, ovens, dryers, and lamps, since this gives a false higher temperature reading that forces the unit to work longer

Refrain from placing your unit on the west side of your home, but if you don’t have windows in the proper place, ask your technician about installing a wall or ceiling unit or consider central air. Also, trim back bushes and trees and regularly clean any debris stuck in the outer condenser compartment.

Mistakes During Cycles

Even if your unit is appropriately sized and positioned, knowing the dos and don’ts as the system cycles keeps you from spiking energy bills and unit deterioration. Below are common mistakes homeowners make when running their air conditioning system.

  • Leaving Points Of Entry Open
  • Lowering The Thermostat Excessively
  • Forgetting Regular Maintenance

Leaving Points Of Entry Open

Your unit works to remove hot air from your indoor surroundings, but when there’s a constant influx of warm air from entry points like doors and windows, it’ll run overtime to keep the controlled climate cool. Unfortunately, many residents forget to secure these entry points or are constantly opening and closing their doors in response to high traffic, allowing cool air to escape and humidity to enter. Even if you habitually shut openings for ideal cooling capacity, AC mistakes costing you money in a similar manner include the following:

  • Broken ductwork lets air out behind your walls rather than within your rooms, causing your system to work longer to compensate for the seeped-out air
  • Cracks and crevices in external walls lead to constant air transfer
  • Exhaust fans over your stove or within your bathroom filter out controlled air

Childers Heating and Air Conditioning can gladly repair or replace ductwork in Gaffney, SC to keep your home energy efficient. Additionally, a cost effective way to seal air leaks in windows and doors is by caulking or weather stripping. Also, refrain from turning on your exhaust fans when your unit is cycling, and keep entryways closed as much as possible to prevent outdoor air from seeping in.

Lowering The Thermostat Excessively

Some homeowners, especially after extreme exertion like gardening in the hot sun, working out, or running errands in 90-degree weather, turn on their unit and crank the thermostat low for immediate relief. Many also crank it low when they’re not feeling cool enough, but end up with higher monthly bills while creating a larger carbon footprint that affects the environment.

Contrary to popular belief, your air conditioner will not cool your home any faster if the thermostat is set lower. It will just run until the thermostat setting is met, which raises cooling costs.

Forgetting Regular Maintenance

One of the top mistakes many make is forgetting semi-annual maintenance. Professional checks from a Childers technician in the spring and fall allows our experts to remedy developing issues and replace worn parts so your unit remains efficient. It also lets them lubricate moving parts, tighten loose components, and clean the system so it doesn’t have to work harder to override problems.

Regular AC maintenance in Gaffney, SC and surrounding areas is a key factor in prolonging your AC’s 10-to-15-year lifespan, resulting in fewer replacements and protecting components, preventing major, costly, and frequent repairs.

At Childers Heating & Air Conditioning, we provide 24/7 services, whether you need a maintenance check, replacement, or AC repair in Gaffney, SC, and surrounding areas. To learn more about AC mistakes that are costing you money and how to save money by avoiding them, call (864) 659-7403 to request services today!