Electrical, Home, Plumbing

Knowhow: 9 heating and cooling mistakes to avoid

heating and cooling

This guide outlines some of the most expensive heating and cooling mistakes you should steer clear of.

Heating and cooling are some of the biggest home expenses. Most homeowners reduce this expense by opting for DIY heating and cooling. However, without proper maintenance, you could end up compromising your HVAC system’s efficiency, leading to more energy bills and expensive repairs.

9 worst heating and cooling mistakes

Read on for nine of the worst DIY heating and cooling mistakes you should avoid.

Installing the wrong HVAC system size

One of the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a heating and cooling system for your home is its size. Most people assume that choosing a more extensive unit means better performance, which is often untrue. If the HVAC system is more comprehensive for your space, it will increase your energy consumption and bills.

A smaller unit means that the HVAC system must work harder to achieve the desired results, reducing efficiency and lifespan and more bills. Check out actionac.net for AC installation services and recommendations on the best unit size based on the square footage of your home.

Basing the choice of a heating and cooling system solely on price

While cost is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing an HVAC system, do not base your choice solely on it. Avoid buying the cheapest product in the market. Instead, consider the unit quality, energy-efficiency features, maintenance, and customer reviews and testimonials when purchasing a heating and cooling system. An HVAC system is an expensive investment, so you should strive to get the full value of your money.

Placing appliances near the HVAC system

Having the TV, lamps, or any other appliances that give off heat near your HVAC system could leave your family wearing heavy outdoor clothing when indoors. HVAC systems have sensors that detect sudden temperature changes, prompting the units to adjust to desirable conditions.

When you place heat-emitting appliances near the heating and cooling unit, you trick it into thinking the house’s temperatures are higher than they actually are. This makes your system strive towards cooling the room, so you should position your unit away from any appliances that give off heat.

Covering vents in unused rooms

A common misconception is that you can reduce energy consumption and improve your unit’s efficiency by closing off or covering vents in unused rooms. However, covering vents throws your heating and cooling system off balance, making it work twice as hard to maintain optimal temperatures. It also adds pressure to the ducts, leading to air leakage. This results in undue wear and tear, reduces your AC unit’s efficiency, increases energy bills, and limited lifespan.

Neglecting the air filters

One of the easiest yet most ignored maintenance tasks is the cleaning and changing the air filters. Air filters trap dust, pet dander, debris, and other contaminants from the air passing through the HVAC system. With continued use, grime may build up on the unit, limiting its ability to perform its function. This lowers the indoor air quality levels, and the heating and cooling system also has to work harder to circulate cool air throughout the home, resulting in increased energy bills. Clean or replace the furnace filters every three months to improve your system’s efficiency. Consider changing the filters more frequently if you have allergies, are a smoker, or own multiple pets. MERV 11 furnace filters are great replacements to make sure your furnace runs efficiently and keeps your air clean. 

Neglecting the drain

The heating and cooling system drain line allows proper condensation water drainage during the air conditioning. Buildup may occur on the drain line with constant use, clogging the unit. This stops the condensation water from flowing down the drain, and you may experience an awful smell, leaks, and loss of cooling from your HVAC system. Consider pouring white vinegar down the pipes or snaking it with a wire to clear a clogged drain.

Ignoring weird noises

The heating and cooling system produces an undetectable low and constant hum as it operates. If you notice any strange sounds from your unit, it could indicate problems with your system, necessitating professional services. A rumbling noise indicates lighting problems. Squealing or screeching sounds indicate a damaged belt, while rattling noises could mean issues with the fans, compressors, or motors.

Turning the HVAC system off when leaving the house

Most people think that turning off the HVAC system when leaving the house will help reduce energy costs, which is often not the case. While the HVAC system does not use electricity when it is turned off, it has to work twice as hard to increase the temperatures to desired conditions. This increases the energy consumption and consequently the utility bills, so you should keep your AC running when in and out of the house.

Failing to schedule annual maintenance

Most homeowners make a typical DIY heating and cooling mistake by neglecting annual maintenance tune-ups to reduce their spending. This results in reduced system efficiency and longevity and increased repair costs. You should schedule routine inspections with a professional contractor to ensure your unit runs well throughout the year.


The heating and cooling unit is an expensive long-term investment. Improve your system’s efficiency and lifespan by avoiding the above mistakes.

Before purchasing heating and cooling equipment, you should seek advice from a qualified HVAC professional so that you are provided with information on the type of equipment and which power best suits your needs.

  • Periodic preventive maintenance ensures the correct functioning of the heating and cooling system. This should check the status of the filters of the indoor units, alarms and system errors, detection and correction of leaks and verification of the refrigerant circulation circuit, as well as all the mechanical components of the equipment.
  • For moderate use, it is recommended to have the heating and cooling system set to a temperature suitable for outdoor conditions: 18°C ​​in winter and 25°C in summer.
  • Install awnings, close blinds and draw curtains to keep the temperature in your home and reduce the need for air conditioning.
  • It is important to place air conditioners in places that are not affected by the sun or where there is good air circulation.
  • Installing efficient windows allows you to reduce heat losses, which represent 30% of heating needs.
  • Consider installing thermal insulation on walls and roofs to reduce heating requirements.
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