During a great portion of the year here in North Texas, the days are hot, the nights are humid, and the weather can be a little unpredictable to say the least. There’s only one thing that can combat the nasty heat, and that is why we are so grateful for air conditioning! But be careful, as there are many seemingly harmless actions and oversights that can actually end up shortening the life of your air conditioner. And when that dog-day weather is in full swing, a broken and run-down AC is something none of us can afford. After, read up on the air conditioning mistakes you can’t afford to make. As temperatures rise, you’re going to want to keep your air conditioning cool without blowing a gasket (literally!).

Forgetting to change the filter

Forgetting or neglecting to change the filter in your AC unit was the mistake most quoted by HVAC experts. All the gunk and junk that gets built up inside makes your capacitor have to work harder. The harder the AC works, the faster it will burn out. You should be changing your filter every one to three months per the manufacturer’s instructions and sometimes even more often if living with pets or a smoker. Not only will regularly changing the filter help your AC live longer, but it will also make the air that blows out cooler and stronger.

Hiding your HVAC system

We’ve all seen it before (possibly even in our own side- or backyard): an outdoor system hidden behind some trees and other shrubbery so it doesn’t look like such an eyesore. While this may seem like a good landscaping solution, it actually ends up becoming a major HVAC problem. Surrounding the AC system with plants or shrubs could block proper ventilation and clog the system, which results in more wear and tear. Always make sure there’s plenty of open space. There should be at least 24 inches of space around your outdoor unit in every direction. So don’t be overbearing: Give your unit some space so you can come off as cool (literally).

Over-usage

Raise your hand if you’ve ever left your air conditioning on even though you’ve left the house (my hand is raised…and I think yours may be, too). While this may seem smart as you’ll be coming back to a cool house, it can actually end up causing a strain on your unit. Most air conditioners have a programmable thermostat now and homeowners can utilize it to turn on the air conditioner just before they return home. Some newer models even have remote access and can be switched on via WiFi using the mobile phone. There is simply no reason to leave the air conditioner on while you are away now.

Placing appliances near the thermostat

The AC is meant to cool down the naturally occurring hot temperatures of the summer. But what happens when the system picks up on unnatural heat? As you may already be able to guess, the answer involves higher prices and lower productivity rates. Make sure that no lamps, TVs, or other heat-emitting appliances are too close to the thermostat. Your thermostat can register the rise in temperature and respond accordingly, leading to higher bills in the summer and a colder home in the winter.

Overdue servicing and maintenance

We may hate to admit it, but we can’t do everything on our own. This sentiment clearly applies to maintaining our air conditioning. It’s important to get an expert to service your system occasionally to make sure everything is in good working order. There are a few small electronic parts (such as a capacitor) on an AC system that may need to be replaced as they begin to weaken to extend the lifespan of your unit. But if those parts are allowed to completely fail, they can cause more damage to other, more expensive parts of the unit. Having an AC serviced by a licensed technician once every few years can help prevent that from happening. We suggest scheduling an inspection and routine maintenance every six months for the spring and fall seasons. Give us a call here at Gentry! We will be happy to help you out.