Well, yes, any use of your air conditioner is going to cost you, as you are using energy after all. But what we’re referring to is practices with your air conditioner that may be costing you more than necessary.
The fact is, there are a lot of beliefs that homeowners have about using their air conditioners to help themselves feel more comfortable that:
- Don’t work.
- Actually hurt air conditioning efficiency, and therefore cause a rise in utility bills.
So, are you making any of the following costly AC mistakes?
Mistake #1: Trying to “Speed Up” Your Air Conditioner’s Cooling Power
There aren’t many homeowners who haven’t tried this at least once:
They try to get the air conditioner to cool down the room faster, by setting the thermostat several degrees lower than their desired temperature. The mistaken belief is that when you do this, the AC will work extra hard and reach your desired temperature much faster than it otherwise would!
This is, unfortunately, not how air conditioners work. Your cooling system cools your living space at the same rate, no matter what. If anything, setting the thermostat too low puts you at risk of enabling the compressor to run longer than necessary. This contributes to faster wear and tear, and potentially a premature breakdown or replacement.
Mistake #2: Leaving the Windows Open to Get “Fresh Air” In
For your air conditioner to function as efficiently as it’s meant to, you have to keep your doors and windows closed.
Unfortunately though, this can make the air a bit stale or dry feeling. As a result, you’ll likely be tempted to open the windows throughout the day in order to let air inside. However, all this will do is lower your air conditioner’s ability to perform efficiently.
At least, this is the case during the day. If you want to let fresh air in, you’re best waiting until nighttime or the next morning when temperatures are around 75 degrees or lower. This will let cool, fresh air into your home, therefore making it feel a little more bearable overall while not forcing you to use your system inefficiently.
Mistake #3: Skipping AC Maintenance
You’ve probably heard this one before—in fact, you’ve likely heard it from us—but maintenance is vital to the performance and longevity of your air conditioner. Many homeowners neglect this service because they don’t understand the long-term benefits, but there are plenty. Why wait for your air conditioner to develop severe repair issues? This will only wear down on the system faster, leaving you paying for repair service or even replacement far sooner than you would have otherwise.
In addition to preventing emergency repair issues, maintenance helps to maintain your cooling system’s efficiency. If you haven’t been keeping up with your annual maintenance tune-ups and notice a rising cooling bill in comparison to what you paid during the same time last year, we can almost guarantee there’s a correlation.