2 Air Conditioning Errors That Might Damage Your System

Posted on: 7 July 2015

If you are like most people who make the switch from box fans to central air conditioning, you might feel like your HVAC problems are a thing of the past. However, your HVAC system needs attention and maintenance, just like any other home appliance. Here are two air conditioning errors that might damage your system and how you can avoid trouble:

1: Ignoring Airflow

After you move in to a new house, you might have your own ideas about what to do with the backyard. After planting a few flowers and getting rid of those dead spots on your lawn, you might turn your attention to that ugly gray air conditioner. Unfortunately, covering up your system or moving it to a new place might cause airflow problems. Here are two things you should never do to your air conditioner:

  • Move Your Unit Closer To Your House: If you have a small backyard, you might find yourself looking for ways to save space. In an effort to free up your backyard, you might be tempted to move your air conditioner closer to your house. However, experts recommend keeping your air conditioner 30 inches away from your home in order to preserve airflow. If you move that system closer, it might not be able to draw in enough air, which can strain your system and create problems with frozen refrigerant.
  • Cover Your Unit With Decorative Landscaping:  Wouldn't that air conditioner look better if it was disguised with tall grasses, ivy, or a nearby bush? Unfortunately, in addition to restricting the airflow into the unit, nearby plants can also damage internal unit components. If branches, rocks, or leaves fall into your system, they can act as projectiles—damaging wires and knocking loose important screws. To stay on the safe side, keep all plants, shrubs, and grasses at least two to three feet away from your unit. 

If you want your air conditioner to stay healthy and functional, leave it where your HVAC professional installed it. Keep in mind that air conditioners, like other permanent home fixtures, tend to blend into the background no matter where they are placed.

2: Forgetting About Your Furnace

During the summertime, you might assume that your furnace simply hibernates—giving your air conditioner a chance to play the lead HVAC role. However, your air conditioner actually works in tandem with your furnace to cool and circulate air throughout your entire home. Unfortunately, if you forget about your furnace, it could spell trouble for your air conditioner. Here are a few furnace mistakes that could cause problems with your HVAC system:

  • Ignoring Sizing Between Your Furnace and AC Unit: Your furnace's air handler is the device that actually distributes cooled air throughout your home. Unfortunately, if your furnace isn't large enough to accommodate the air your AC unit pulls in, that cooled air will go to waste. Before you upgrade any part of your HVAC system, ask a professional to inspect your existing appliances and recommend the right sizes. By measuring the airflow and calculating your estimated HVAC load, you might be able to keep your furnace and air conditioner in sync—preventing future problems.
  • Filter Replacement: Believe it or not, a dirty furnace filter can restrict airflow just as much as that air return filter, preventing hot air from making its way outdoors. Whenever you replace your air conditioning system filters, check your furnace filters too. Keep in mind that changing your air filters when you should has been shown to improve HVAC efficiency by as much as 15%, which might reduce your energy costs and keep your home more comfortable. 

By being familiar with common air conditioning mistakes, you might be able to keep your system running smoothly—saving you time, money, and frustration. For more information, contact a local HVAC company or visit http://www.homesmartcolorado.com/

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As an appliance installation expert, I know a thing or two about energy efficient washing machines and refrigerators. I commonly help clients to cut down on their electricity bills so they can spend money on the things they care about. New appliances alone cannot reduce energy waste though, and some of the homes I enter are filled with drafts and old windows. I have worked hard to keep the heat in my home during the winter, and I want you to do the same. Hard earned money should not fly out the window during the winter months. I have created a number of articles that can show you how simple blind, insulation, and caulking solutions can save you hundreds of dollars every year. Even controlling air flow can stop your heater from running non stop. Read on to learn how to control your energy waste as easily as possible.

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