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5 Air Conditioning Mistakes to Avoid This Summer


After spending a long day out in the Virginia heat, the last thing you want to come home to is a hot house. Few things are more frustrating when it feels like your AC is failing to cool off your home — or it is, and you’re worried about a potentially massive energy bills.

Making some simple changes can save you a lot of sweat this summer. Here are Bradley Mechanical’s top AC mistakes we see during the summer months:

  1. Forgetting to Change Out the Air Filter: This is one of the top mistakes we see, because many homeowners do not even know that their AC has an air filter. In fact, these filters need to be changed or cleaned monthly, especially during the summer. When the AC is in constant use, the filter will become clogged quickly. If this happens, airflow into the AC will become restricted, causing your system to work overtime and inflate your energy bills. You can always ask a Bradley Mechanical technician to help you locate the air filter on your AC.
  2. Keeping the AC on All Day: Many people are under the misconception that running the AC all day is more energy efficient than turning it off when they leave and back on when they return. This is false. When you are leaving the house for a long period of time you should either turn it completely off or set it to a high temperature. The hotter it is outside, the more you’ll save on your energy bill. If you have a smart or programmable thermostat you can set the AC to turn on 30 minutes before you come back home.
  3. Setting the Thermostat Too Low: It can be frustrating when it feels like it’s taking your AC forever to cool off your home — so it may be tempting to keep lowering the thermostat. However, lowering the thermostat does not make any difference on how fast your home cools off. The amount of cool air getting pumped out doesn’t change. The thermostat just tells your system when to stop cooling off the air. So, if your ideal indoor temperature is 70F and you set it to 60F, your AC will keep pumping out air until your home is too cold, wasting energy and money.
  4. Leaving AC Vents Open: It sounds counter-intuitive, but closing off some of your AC vents will actually make your unit more productive. If there are some rooms you hardly use during the day, consider closing up the vents. That will make cool air flow faster to the rooms you actually are in such as the kitchen or living room. It’s also important to keep the doors to these rooms closed, so your cold air doesn’t leak out. This rule also applies to window units. These systems are made with a certain amount of square footage in mind. If the door to the room you are cooling off is open, that essentially maxes out your AC, and allows all the cool air to leave the room.
  5. Turning off the Ceiling Fans - Some homeowners figure that once the central AC unit is on, they can switch their fans off. However, fans and AC units work best in conjunction with each other. It can take the cool air from the central unit a long time to circulate throughout the house, but by using a fan the cold air is essentially “stirred” into the rest of the house.

Bradley Mechanical provides top-quality air conditioning services throughout Central Virginia. If you have a broken air conditioning unit, you won’t want to wait several days until a technician can come to your house. Call Bradley Mechanical at 804-748-6728 for fast, effective service and long-lasting repairs.