Air conditioners are vital to your home, especially during Charleston’s hot and humid summer months. While it provides much-needed relief from the heat, many homeowners unknowingly engage in habits that can compromise their air conditioning unit’s efficiency and lifespan. In this article, we’ll explore ten things you should never do to your AC to ensure it stays in optimal condition, keeping your home cool and your energy bills in check.

1. Neglecting Routine Maintenance

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is neglecting routine AC maintenance. Like any machine or appliance, your air conditioner requires periodic check-ups to ensure all components function correctly. Dirty air filters, clogged coils, and low refrigerant levels can significantly decrease efficiency, leading to increased energy consumption and potential breakdowns. Schedule preventative maintenance with an HVAC professional to keep your AC running smoothly.

2. Ignoring Air Filter Replacements

Air filters are critical to indoor air quality by trapping dust, dirt, and allergens. Ignoring regular air filter replacements can lead to reduced airflow, causing your AC to work harder and consume more energy. We recommend replacing your air filters every month, depending on your usage and type of filter.

3. Setting Extremely Low Temperatures

While it might be tempting to turn your thermostat to the lowest possible setting during a heatwave, it can strain your AC system. Your cooling system works harder to maintain extremely low temperatures, increasing energy consumption and potential system malfunctions. Set your thermostat to a comfortable yet reasonable temperature and consider using fans to circulate air for added cooling.

4. Blocking Air Vents and Registers

Blocking or closing vents in unused rooms is a good idea to save energy, but it can harm your AC system. Closing vents disrupt the air pressure balance within the ductwork, leading to potential issues with the compressor and increased energy consumption. Ensure all the vents and registers are open and unobstructed to maintain proper airflow.

5. DIY Refrigerant Recharge

Refrigerant is crucial for the cooling process in your AC, and it should only be handled by trained professionals. Attempting a DIY refrigerant recharge can lead to overcharging or undercharging, damaging your system, and posing safety risks. If you suspect a refrigerant issue, contact a licensed HVAC contractor to assess and address the problem.

6. Neglecting the Outdoor Unit

Your AC’s outdoor unit is exposed to the elements, making it susceptible to dirt, debris, and foliage. Neglecting to schedule regular cleanings and maintenance can compromise airflow and hinder the heat exchange process. Trim any vegetation around the unit, clean the coils, and ensure no obstructions for optimal performance.

7. Running the AC 24/7

While keeping your AC running around the clock during hot summer days is tempting, doing so can strain the system and lead to premature wear and tear. Give your AC periodic breaks to prevent overworking the compressor and extend the unit’s lifespan. Consider using programmable thermostats to regulate temperatures efficiently when you’re away.

8. Overlooking Insulation and Home Sealing

Proper insulation and sealing are crucial for maintaining a relaxed indoor environment. These aspects are necessary to avoid energy wastage, as cooled air escapes and warm air infiltrates your home. Ensure your house is well-insulated, seal any gaps or cracks in windows and doors, and consider using curtains or blinds to block the sun’s heat during peak hours.

9. Neglecting Strange Noises or Odors

Ignoring unusual noises or unpleasant odors from your AC is never a good idea. These signs may indicate underlying issues such as a faulty motor, a clogged drain line, or an air conditioner that’s short cycling. Address these problems promptly by consulting with a professional technician to prevent further damage and maintain the efficiency of your AC.

10. Skipping Professional Inspections

Regular professional inspections are essential for identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate. While DIY maintenance is helpful, a certified HVAC technician can perform a thorough examination, ensuring all components are functioning correctly. Schedule annual or bi-annual inspections to keep your AC in top-notch condition and catch any problems early on.

Your air conditioner is a valuable investment that requires proper care and attention to ensure longevity and optimal performance. By avoiding these ten common mistakes, you can keep your AC running efficiently, reduce energy consumption, and enjoy a relaxed and comfortable home environment. Remember, consult a professional HVAC technician to address any concerns and keep your AC in top shape when in doubt.

Need further assistance? Our HVAC professionals in Daniel Island and the surrounding areas are ready to help. Contact us today at (843) 556-9550 or request an appointment online by completing our service request form.