2 Ways You Might Be Damaging Your Air Conditioner

As a homeowner, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with household chores. In between mowing your lawn and tidying up the house, you might hap-hazardly deal with your HVAC system. Unfortunately, making the wrong air conditioning moves could cause big problems down the road. Here are two ways you might be damaging your air conditioner, and how you can keep your system alive and well:  

1: Closing Too Many Vents

If you are trying to save money on your heating and cooling bill, your first instinct might be to go through every room of your house and close off unused vents. Unfortunately, although this might seem like an effective way to cool only the rooms you actually use, it can actually damage your entire system. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Increased Internal Pressure: When you close air ducts, it increases the air pressure on the inside of your HVAC system. Although this might seem like a good thing, it can actually exacerbate existing air leaks inside of your vents. If you have a small hole or a tear in any of your vent work, more air will be pushed through the area, which can damage the lines even more.
  • Balance Problems: If you close random vents throughout your home, it can make different rooms much hotter or cooler. Unfortunately, since your thermostat is designed to read the average general temperature and turn on or off accordingly, closing vents can make your home's temperature even more difficult to manage. Your system will have to work much harder to cool your place, which can put excess strain on the compressor. 

To ward off problems, never close more than 20-30% of your vents. Instead, simply let your air conditioner do its job. If you think that your system isn't balanced properly, contact an air conditioning contractor from a site like http://rbincorporated.com/ to evaluate your system. He or she can check airflow and monitor the temperature changes in your home. If your system isn't functioning properly, a contractor can patch leaky lines, run new ductwork, or install additional air returns to balance your home's air circulation.

2: Manually Operating Your Air Conditioner

Do you hate the idea of letting your thermostat decide when to turn on the AC? If you want to exercise a little more control over your cooling, you might turn your system completely off and then simply switch on the air conditioning whenever your home gets uncomfortable. Unfortunately, air conditioners can only cool so quickly, and letting your home get too warm could be hard on your system.

In fact, air conditioners are only designed to compensate for about a 20° F temperature difference. For example, if you let your home get to 95° F, your air conditioning system might only be able to get the temperature down to 75° F. Unfortunately, if you prefer a 70° F environment, your system might not be able to displace that much heat.

Using your system on an emergency basis can also be hard on the compressor. Instead of being able to constantly read and adjust your home's temperature, your air conditioner might find itself running for long periods of time at full-throttle. These jarring cooling episodes can strain your compressor motor and eventually lead to system failures. To keep your system running smoothly, do yourself a favor and program your thermostat. In addition to keeping your home comfortable around the clock, your thermostat can also save about $180 a year in energy costs.  

By taking good care of your air conditioner, you might be able to keep your home more comfortable and avoid troublesome system failures.