Photo By slobo at istock
When all goes well, keeping your home at the right temperature is a simple task that most homeowners in Dallas, TX don’t even think about. All you have to do most of the time is set your HVAC to the right temperature and let it do the rest, a really nice thing during a hot Texas day.
But when things go wrong with the air conditioner, you’re going to find yourself scrambling for an air conditioning repair expert to come to your home and get things fixed right away. Unfortunately, in many cases, the problem turns out to be self-inflicted from either a well-meaning homeowner who didn’t know what they were doing or someone who neglected something important and caused their home a real problem.
In the case of air conditioning repair, what you don’t know can cause some real problems if you aren’t careful. Here are a few mistakes that you really don’t want to make with the air conditioner in your home!
Forgetting the Filter
One of the easiest things that you can do for your home’s air conditioner is to change the filter on a regular basis. Yet a lot of people don’t realize this is a necessary step until they discover a dirty, discolored air filter shortly after they run into air conditioner problems that require the help of an air conditioning repair expert.
When you don’t take the time to change out your air filter, you’re allowing contaminants from the atmosphere to make their way into your home and linger in your air conditioning system. Remember, your air conditioner works by pulling in warm air from the outside, filtering it, cooling it, and dispersing it through the home.
During that air conditioning repair process, it’s pulling contaminants out of the air and trapping them in the filter. That leads to cleaner, cooler air for you and your family, but only if you allow the system to work the way it’s supposed to work. If you don’t change out the filter, all of that dirt from outside has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is into the parts that make up your air conditioning system.
The easiest thing for you to do to avoid air conditioning repair is to swap out your air filter on a regular basis. The proper length of time is determined by how many people and pets live in your home. If it’s just yourself or yourself and a partner and nobody has any breathing issues, once every nine months to a year is usually fine. If you have children or pets, you’ll want to cut that to six months, and a home with both children and pets usually needs a new filter every three months. It’s a small task, but it can make a big difference down the road.
Forgetting the Maintenance
Have you ever heard a mechanic tell you that it’s always easier to provide maintenance than it is to make repairs on your car? Well, air conditioning repair in Dallas, TX works the same way. Providing proper maintenance for your air conditioner and ensuring that it’s in working order is by far the best way for you to get the most out of the system.
In Texas, there’s really no time that you know you won’t need the air conditioner, so scheduling maintenance isn’t quite as easy as it would be in a northern state with colder weather. But maintenance still needs to be done, so the best thing you can do is to schedule maintenance at a time when the temperature is something you can handle without too much difficulty. Having an air conditioning repair expert come in to take a look at the system can help you spot problems that could occur down the road, allowing you to plan for repairs well before you might need to make them.
Not only does maintenance help you avoid major repairs to your air conditioning system and extend its life, it also does plenty to help your financial situation. Air conditioning repair can be costly, and when it comes all at once, it’s difficult to cover the expenses you need to manage in order to keep your home as cool as you’d like it to be. Scheduling maintenance gives you a good idea of just what might be coming so that you can start to budget for it over time. If you know what you’re likely to run into, you’ll have a much better chance of saving some money so that when the time comes for a key air conditioning repair, you can easily handle the expense.
Turning Off Your AC
Wait a minute: shouldn’t you turn off the system when you leave your house? Actually, according to air conditioning repair experts, that’s a really bad idea, because when you turn off the air conditioner, you’re forcing the AC to work harder to get back to the right temperature when you return to your home.
It’s no secret that the weather in the Metroplex can get disgusting in a hurry at any time of year, and if you’re trying to get your home down to 68 degrees when it’s been sitting in 85-degree weather without running the air conditioner at all, you’re going to wear out the system and cause a major spike in your energy bills.
Instead, when you do leave home for the day, the best thing to do is slightly increase the temperature of your air conditioner so that it’s not working as hard as it is when you need it to keep your home cool. Turning the air conditioner up by three to five degrees can make a big difference in your system’s efficiency while saving you money at the same time. If you like the temperature at 68 degrees, for example, you’ll find it’s much easier and cheaper to get the home back to 68 when it starts on 72 than it is to bring it down from 85.
If you do turn off your AC too often at your home, you’re likely to wear it out pretty quickly, which can cause you to require an air conditioning repair well before you planned on needing one. Remember, the parts of your air conditioning system are just like the parts of anything mechanical: use them too often or use them improperly, and they will break down over time. It’s much better to keep the system in use to a lesser degree and keep the system from overworking itself.
Improper Plant Placement
Plants are a fantastic thing to have in your home. They brighten our living spaces, clean the air around us, and provide a general boost to our daily life. However, plants don’t go anywhere near the air conditioning system indoors, and putting one anywhere close to it is a great way to lower the system’s efficiency and require a need for air conditioning repair.
Why? Plants can block access to the system, which can make it difficult to get to for maintenance or changing the air filter. Plus, having plants and debris near the system makes it more likely that particles can find their way to your air filter and eventually into the system itself at your home.
There’s one time that it’s a good idea to place plants around the air conditioning system: when it’s a tree that’s providing shade to the outdoor unit. Tree placement can be a great thing for your HVAC because it cools the air around the unit before it even gets to the system, which means the system doesn’t have to work anywhere near as hard to cool the air inside your home. But if they’re small plants that won’t provide any shade, keep them in a different place than right by the air conditioner.
It’s tempting to go on YouTube or TikTok and take a look at someone who claims to have done their own air conditioning repair work and saved a bundle. But the reality is that it’s almost never as easy to do that kind of work as it seems on the video. The person on the video is usually either an expert who has done this work for years or has been trained by someone who’s done this work for years.
Even if they make it look simple to do, that person isn’t in your Dallas, TX home with you to provide advice should your air conditioning repair start to go wrong. If you’re having problems trying to fix it yourself, you won’t be able to ask someone who knows what they’re doing if what you’re doing will actually do anything to fix the issue.
And that’s a best-case scenario for your efforts. In a worst-case scenario, you can cause real damage to your air conditioning unit that creates an even bigger problem for an expert to fix. Every home repair industry, especially the air conditioning repair industry, is littered with stories about someone who thought they could fix something with a video, a little knowledge, and a few tools, and it invariably ends with a much higher bill from a major problem caused by the homeowner themselves.
When it comes to air conditioning repair, it’s OK to admit what you don’t know and bring in an expert to make full repairs. It’s a lot better to let someone tell you what’s wrong with the system and provide a genuine solution that keeps your Dallas, TX home cool than it is to muddle with it yourself and hope that you’re right.
Blocking the Vent
This goes right along with plant placement, as closing off the vent in one or more areas only means that your system has to work harder to get your home’s air to the temperature that you desire. Before you even turn on the system and start to operate it, you should always make sure that all vents are unblocked and that the only closed vents are in areas where you don’t want the air conditioner to work.
As with most things related to air conditioning repair, this is all about efficiency. When you operate the system, it has no way to know if your vents are open or closed until air starts flowing through the system, so it’s going to try to cool the air in every room where the vents are opened. If there’s an obstruction that’s preventing cool air from reaching the room, the system will only work harder to try to bring the temperature down to where you want it to be. If you’ve closed off a room that gets a little colder than the others, that’s one thing, but otherwise, make sure your vents are open.
Opening the Windows
This is easily the fastest way to defeat the work that your air conditioner is trying to do because warm air makes it infinitely harder for the system to do its job. When you run the air conditioner with the windows open, all you’re doing is bringing more warm air in from the outside and forcing your system to work harder than it should.
If you’d like to experience the fresh air of Dallas, TX, do yourself a favor and go outside for the day. Otherwise, you’re literally opening the window to an increased need for air conditioning repair sooner than you should.
When it comes to keeping the home cool, One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating of Dallas is here to help get the job done, regardless of what mistakes have been made. If your Dallas, TX home is in need of proper air conditioning repair, we’re just a call away; contact us to keep the home cool all year long!