5 HVAC Mistakes New Homeowners Make

Just moved in? Congratulations! As you get to know your new home, make sure and take some time and get to know your HVAC system. That way, you can avoid mistakes and mishaps that can end up costing you in the long run. At Larson Air Conditioning, we’ve helped countless homeowners become more confident and knowledgeable when it comes to their HVAC systems, and we want to help you too. Here are the 5 most common mistakes that new homeowners make, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Not changing filters

You need to change your filters every 30 days—no exceptions! Changing your filters regularly is the easiest and most important thing you can do to keep your HVAC system running in good condition. Filters help defend against dust, dirt, and allergens by physically stopping these particles from polluting the air throughout the home. They also keep your system in good working condition by trapping the particles before they have a chance to damage important internal components.  

Overall, filters help maintain the efficiency and performance of your air conditioner and replacing them should be a part of your monthly household chores. If you don’t, you may end up with problems like uneven cooling, restricted airflow, and increased dust in your home. You also run the risk of major issues with the compressor, which always requires a service technician to fix. The bottom line is, simply setting a reminder to change your filters every 30 days can save you time, money, and energy in the long run.

2. Ignoring the signs of HVAC problems

“Out of sight, out of mind” isn’t a good approach when it comes to HVAC. Just because your system is tucked away outdoors, in the attic, or in the garage doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to it. Keep an eye and ear out for these common signs of HVAC problems, and know when to call in the pros.

Rising energy bills

Pay attention to the average amount you’re paying towards your energy bills each month. If things start to drastically increase, something might be wrong with your HVAC system. Problems that cause rising energy bills include:

  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Dirty filters
  • Failing parts and components
  • Lack of maintenance

Short cycling

If your system turns on and off frequently or suddenly, it’s short cycling. It’s important that you don’t ignore short cycling because it can run up your energy bills fast, and cause potentially irreparable damage to the system.

Strange noises

As you settle in to your home, you’ll likely get used to the clicks and blowing sounds that happen when your HVAC system is running. But, if you notice new noises like squealing, grinding, or abrupt and sudden banging, don’t tune them out. They could be normal operational noises, or they could be signs of real trouble. When in doubt, call Larson for help. We’ll check your system for any problems and help determine which noises are normal and which are not.

Unpleasant smells

If you smell dust or a general musty odor when your HVAC system is running, it’s time to call and have your system examined. The problem could be leaky or poorly sealed ducts letting smelly dust enter your home. If you smell a sulfuric rotten-egg stench, you’ll need to leave the home and call your gas company immediately, as you may be experiencing a dangerous gas leak.

3. Not using programmable thermostats correctly

Here at Larson, we’re big fans of programmable thermostats because of their convenience and energy saving capabilities. When used correctly, a programmable thermostat can help you use less energy and save money in the process. Here are tips to help you get the most out of your programmable thermostat.

  1. Make sure your thermostat is away from heating or cooling registers, appliances, lighting, doorways, fireplaces, skylights and windows, and areas that receive direct sunlight or drafts. Centrally located interior walls are the best place to install your thermostat.
  2. Keep the thermostat set at energy-saving temperatures for long periods of time, such as during the day if no one is home and at bedtime. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on your annual cooling and heating costs by setting your thermostat back 7-10 degrees from its normal setting.
  3. Set the “hold” button at a constant energy-saving temperature when going away for the weekend or on vacation. This helps you use less energy during long periods of time where nobody is home.
  4. Use a programmable thermostat for each zone of your house if you have multiple heating and cooling zones. This will help you maximize comfort, convenience, and energy savings throughout the house.
  5. If your thermostat runs on batteries, make sure and change them every year. Some units will show a low battery icon on the digital display when their power gets low.

4. Not scheduling annual maintenance

The average air conditioning and heating system runs about 3,300 hours per year, the equivalent of driving 214,500 miles at 65 miles per hour. That’s a whole lot of mileage on your system! Skipping maintenance means skipping the important check-up your system needs to conquer Arizona’s climate. With routine system maintenance, you’ll have lower utility bills, a longer system lifespan, improved home comfort, and much more.

When scheduling annual maintenance, make sure you choose an HVAC company that doesn’t cut corners or skip vital components during the appointment. After all, a half-hearted maintenance inspection is almost worse than no maintenance inspection at all. At Larson Air Conditioning, we go the extra mile to ensure that we inspect each and every system from top to bottom, inside and out. It’s all part of our dedication to the comfort, safety, and energy efficiency of your home. Our exhaustive maintenance checklist includes:

  • Measure refrigerant levels
  • Check refrigerant condition
  • Measure system temperature split
  • Test run capacitors
  • Test condenser motor amperes
  • Check fan blade
  • Test blower fan motor amperes
  • Check blower wheel
  • Test compressor windings
  • Check ductwork static pressure
  • Check air filter
  • Check thermostat

Save more with maintenance plans

Larson Air Conditioning offers Maintenance Plans that make it easy to keep your system in tiptop shape. With each maintenance plan, you’re guaranteed two maintenance visits per year, in addition to special pricing and discounts, and priority scheduling. Learn more about maintenance plans or schedule maintenance today. 

5. Not working with a reputable HVAC company

You shouldn’t trust just any company with your HVAC system. Unfortunately, there are many less than reputable companies that put profits ahead of your satisfaction. Make sure and do your research before signing on the dotted line and agreeing to work with someone for a repair, replacement, or maintenance. Online reviews are a great place to start, and you can also ask your friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations. Above all, trust your gut—if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Homeowners across the Valley trust Larson Air Conditioning

Homeowners valley-wide trust Larson Air Conditioning with their cooling, heating, and home energy needs. We believe everyone deserves top notch service, and we put customer satisfaction at the forefront of everything we do. You won’t find dishonest salesmen or seedy upselling tactics here—just honest, reliable, and dedicated professionals working hard to do what’s right for your home. Call (480)-428-0600 or schedule an appointment online for HVAC repairs, replacements, and more.

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