Many Bozeman homeowners don’t realize that their summer air conditioning habits are running their air conditioning units ragged. As the summer heat rolls in, air conditioning becomes a lifeline for many Gallatin Valley households. In contrast to Montana’s long, cold winters, summer temperatures in Big Sky Country frequently climb to the 80s and 90s, sometimes even triple digits. Air conditioning can offer wonderful relief from the heat of summer; however, you may need to change up how you run your a/c unit in the summer vs how you would run it during other months of the year.

In the summer, many homeowners make key mistakes that can weaken the efficiency of their HVAC system, making it work harder than necessary. Often, these mistakes can increase your home’s energy consumption and increase the likelihood of your air conditioning unit needing repairs.

Want to make sure your HVAC unit keeps your home cool all summer long? We’ve outlined the most common summer air conditioning mistakes to avoid along with simple solutions to help you solve them.

5 Summer Air Conditioning Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong A/C Unit Size

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to summer air conditioning is installing an HVAC system that is either too small or too large for their space. An undersized unit will struggle to cool your home efficiently, leading to increased energy usage and premature wear and tear. On the other hand, an oversized unit that cools the house too rapidly will cycle on and off more frequently than it should. This rapid “on-and-off” cycling wastes energy and can cause the unit to wear out before it should.

Solution: Have a Professional Measure Your Home for the Right A/C Unit Size

When choosing an HVAC unit, it’s wise to consult a professional who can accurately assess your home’s cooling needs and recommend the appropriate a/c unit size. During a load calculation test, an HVAC technician will consider your home’s duct conditions, room size, insulation, shade and sun angles, and seasonal weather conditions. Based on these considerations, they will recommend an A/C unit that matches your home’s cooling needs and does not expend excess energy.

At Mountain Heating & Cooling, we specialize in Bozeman air conditioning installation with expertise in the unique demands of mountain living conditions. Schedule an appointment with our team today to have an HVAC professional assess your home for the right A/C unit size.

Mistake #2: Opening Doors and Windows During the Day

During the hot summer days, opening doors and windows lets hot air from outside flow into your home, causing your A/C system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.

Solution: Keep Doors and Windows Closed When Your Air Conditioner is Running

To maintain a comfortable indoor environment, keep your doors and windows closed during peak heat hours. If you want to let fresh air in, do so during the cooler hours of the early morning or late evening.

Mistake #3: Inconsistent A/C Usage

Some people make the mistake of turning off their air conditioner completely when they leave the house, assuming that they can return and quickly cool the space down to their desired temperature. However, this puts unnecessary strain on the system and can result in increased energy consumption.

Solution: Set Your Thermostat To a Slightly Higher Temperature When You’re Away to Maintain a Stable Indoor Environment

Setting your thermostat to a slightly higher temperature when you’re away allows the A/C unit to maintain a more stable indoor environment. A Trane air conditioner, for example, has a maximum temperature setback (aka “setback” or “setback programming”) of 4 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re out of the house or during certain periods of the day. So if you want your home to be at 72 degrees by 6 PM, set the daytime maximum temperature at 76 degrees when you’re away. The purpose of an A/C unit setback is to save energy and reduce cooling costs without sacrificing comfort.

Mistake #4: Setting the Temperature Too Low

Did you know setting your thermostat to an excessively low temperature doesn’t cool your home faster? In reality, it just makes your air conditioner work harder and consume more energy.

Solution: Set Your A/C Unit for a Comfortable Temperature that Allows Your A/C System to Operate without Strain

A recommended summer air conditioning temperature setting is in the 70-degree Fahrenheit range during the summer months. This temperature can help maintain a balance between comfort, unit efficiency, and energy savings. Also, consider using ceiling fans or portable fans to amplify the cooling effect.

Mistake #5: Putting Off Regular Maintenance and Repairs

Proper air conditioning system maintenance is essential to ensure its longevity and efficiency. Neglecting routine maintenance—such as filter cleaning or replacement—can lead to reduced airflow and decreased cooling performance. In some cases, putting off maintenance can actually lead to you needing to replace the entire unit and have a new air conditioner installed. Wondering if your air conditioner is on its last legs? Check out our post on the signs it’s time to repair or replace your air conditioner.

Solution: Schedule Regular Maintenance

Plan for regular or seasonal maintenance with trusted HVAC professionals to inspect and tune up your system. At Mountain Heating & Cooling, we can identify and address any issues promptly, helping prevent breakdowns and avoid expensive repairs.

Wondering if you might need Bozeman air conditioning repair services? If your unit isn’t running well, contact us to assess your system and provide recommendations for a new, energy-efficient unit that suits your needs. We can also help you upgrade to a new Trane air conditioning system for enhanced energy efficiency and long-lasting reliability in your home.

Avoid Common A/C Mistakes and Stay Cool and Comfortable All Summer Long

Whether your A/C unit is new or old, it’s important to be mindful of the common summer air conditioning mistakes that can compromise your home’s comfort levels. From choosing the right unit to scheduling regular maintenance, simple actions can help avoid surprises down the road. As your trusted Bozeman A/C repair and installation experts, the Mountain Heating & Cooling team is here to help ensure your HVAC system keeps running smoothly and efficiently, all season long. Reach out to us today for a consultation.