We all make mistakes! And usually, those mistakes are made with only the best intentions. The same is true for air conditioning efficiency. Over the years, we’ve received many service calls from homeowners who thought they were simply staying proactive about their air conditioner. To help you avoid making any unnecessary service calls, here is a list of some easy-to-avoid mistakes related to AC efficiency.
1. Forgetting That You’re Running an Energy-Saving Program
If your thermostat is programmed to run according to an energy-saving schedule, it could lead you to mistakenly believe that your air conditioner is not cooling properly.
This is something that commonly happens during weekday holidays. The homeowner stays in for the day and is certain that the AC isn’t working nearly as well as it used to. Of course, what’s actually happening is that they’re used to how their air conditioner feels on the weekend—the days when the AC is not abiding by the energy-saving schedule.
If the homeowner isn’t well-versed in operating their thermostat, they might be unable to change the program and adjust the temperature to their liking, and that has led to some unnecessary service calls. Either way, a reputable HVAC contractor in Riverside, CA should help you clear up this possibility over the phone before sending over their best.
2. Lowering the Thermostat Past the Intended Temperature
This one would seem to make sense in theory, but it’s based on a misconception of how air conditioners work. The idea is best understood with an example:
The homeowner wants their AC to get down to 72°F, and quickly. So, instead, they set the thermostat to 65°. Surely, this will cause the AC to work harder and faster. Once it reaches 72°, they can turn the AC off.
This doesn’t work because air conditioners don’t operate like throttles on a motorcycle. Giving it “more gas” won’t make it work faster and harder. Your AC will work at the same pace no matter what, no matter how low the temperature is.
3. Installing a Bigger Unit for Quicker Cooling
In the past, it would have made sense to have a bigger unit: a more powerful unit can quickly cool your home and give you near-immediate comfort. But now, with more efficient machines, an oversized unit can create short-cycling, a symptom that will have your AC turning on and off (without even cooling the home).
Modern methods for sizing air conditioners require a series of load calculations that help determine the perfect size for the home. This all goes toward striking a balance between efficiency and comfort; the AC only needs to run long enough to ensure the home is sufficiently cooled.
4. Forgetting About Summer Discount Plans
If your AC was installed years ago, it’s not uncommon to forget that you may have signed up for a summer discount plan with Edison. Basically, it allows Edison to shut off power to your AC for a short amount of time during the day—sometimes for up to two hours. This has caused confusion and a few dollars that could have been saved by not calling for service.