In this post, we discuss the common mistakes that homeowners make with their air conditioning that end up costing you more money in the long run. 

We all love our air conditioning on hot, humid days. We wouldn’t want to give it up, no way!

Air conditioning makes our lives much better, but it has a few downsides.

The biggest thing about AC that people complain about is the cost.

It costs money to run your central air or window units on all the hot days of summer. Some houses without a lot of shade really need the AC to be running most of the summer in order to stay comfortable.

With all the expense in your electric bills, it’s important to keep it running efficiently so that you can try to keep those bills and avoid potentially expensive air conditioning repair or replacement.

Keeping those expenses in mind, let’s go over the common mistakes people make with their air conditioning that end up costing you money and comfort.


Common Air Conditioning Mistakes

  • Installing the incorrect size for your home
  • Cooling empty homes and rooms
  • Positioning your unit in the wrong place
  • Bad positioning of vents or thermostat
  • Setting thermostat too low
  • Not using fans
  • Leaving windows or doors open
  • Not changing your filter
  • Not cleaning your coils
  • Ignoring routine maintenance
  • Not calling an expert when you should

Related: Common Air Conditioner Problems


Installing the incorrect size for your home

When you have the wrong size air conditioner for your home, it’s going to cause issues, whether it’s too big or too small.

If your AC is too large, it may cycle on and off too quickly, causing issues with humidity and temperature. If it is too small then it will run constantly, which can not only be annoying but will increase your energy bills and put a strain on the unit and wear it out faster.

If you’re buying a new window unit or central air unit, make sure you’re buying the right size for your home. Calculate the square footage of the rooms served by the air conditioner so you can determine the correct BTUs of the unit you will install.

Related: How to Choose the Right Size Air Conditioner


Cooling empty homes and rooms

If you have rooms that you don’t really use that often, close the AC vents in those rooms and close the door to the room so you’re not spending money cooling an empty room.

You can also get a programmable thermostat and program it around your time spent at home. If everyone is gone at work for 8-10 hours a day, you don’t need to spend so much on cooling your home during those hours.


Positioning your unit in the wrong place

You might not realize but the location of your air conditioner can impact its energy efficiency.

It’s best to install your AC unit on the shadier side of your home, generally the east or north side of your home. If it is always in direct sunlight then it will make your system work harder.

You should also make sure that your flowers, shrubs, and landscaping aren’t too close to the unit and block the flow of air to it.

Related: Central Air Troubleshooting Guide


Bad positioning of vents or thermostat

If your thermostat is constantly in direct sunlight or near appliances and heat-producing lights, it will give an inaccurate reading. This causes the AC to run more frequently than it needs to and run up your energy bills.

You should also make sure that your vents aren’t blocked by furniture or curtains.


Setting thermostat too low

Did you know that you can cut your energy costs by 3%for every degree you raise the temperature on your thermostat?

You can probably still be comfortable in a 70 degree home but might be setting the thermostat at 67 out of habit. Try and find the highest temperature you can be comfortable and over the course of summer, you can save a decent amount of money.


Not using fans

Using any kind of fan will help cool the air that is circulating throughout your home. This can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set a couple of degrees higher and also save you money.

Set your ceiling fans to run counterclockwise during the summer months in order to push the air downward.


Leaving windows or doors open

It should go without saying but make sure all your windows and doors are closed. We’ve encountered people who want to leave a window open and feel like they need the fresh air. This lets cool air out of your home and hot air in and will cost you money.


Not changing your filter

Your filter needs to be changed every three months at a minimum, and if your AC is running frequently, then maybe even every month.

A clean filter will improve your AC efficiency and can lower your energy use by 5-10%.


Not cleaning your coils

If you have an outdoor condenser unit for central air, then your evaporator coils can become clogged with dirt and grime. This blocks airflow and insulates the coils, reducing their ability to work efficiently, and will cost you money.


Ignoring routine maintenance

A spring cleaning is good for your AC as well as your home. Properly maintaining your air conditioning will increase its life span and keep it running more efficiently.

A Climate Services can perform maintenance on your system for just $89.

Related: Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist


Not calling an expert when you should


Main photo image of money down the drain by artist Images Money licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) rules


A Climate Services & Systems Inc.

Do you need AC repairs or central air installed?

A Climate Services can help.

Contact us online or phone 630-393-9500

We serve Warrenville, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Geneva, Lombard, West Chicago, Naperville, and Batavia and nearby communities.