There may be times when your cooling system in Tuscon, AZ, is running just fine, but you feel like you are not receiving all of its output. There is more than one reason why this could be happening. The most common culprit is a lack of regular maintenance. If you believe that you have done a good job keeping the unit in high-quality condition, it could be everyday items acting as obstructions. If you need help identifying those obstructions, our team from D&H Air Conditioning & Heating can help. Here is a short list of everyday items that can cause trouble for your information.


Sometimes, you place your furniture in spots where space is available. Since your home’s cooling system sits in its place quietly, you do not always realize that you placed too many furnishings close to the unit. You are encouraged to keep a foot clear in all directions for your AC. This allows the output to freely flow throughout your house. If there is a chair, shelf, or sofa in the way, you are doing your cooling system a disservice.

Camouflaging the Unit

There are definitely individuals who enjoy interior decorating. It is true that cooling systems sometimes clash with the theme of your home and its furnishings, but you should change your mindset in regard to the unit instead of trying to camouflage it.

Your home’s AC unit provides you with much-needed comfort during those hot days in the summer. Maybe you are tempted to help the unit blend in better with your interior design choices. Industry professionals, however, will ask you to refrain from doing so.

If you place plants too close or on top of the unit, you run the risk of leaves, soil, and other particles finding their way inside the AC. This is not good for the health of the system. Not only are you impeding its efficiency by trying to camouflage it, but you also run the risk of causing it damage. AC units fail for a number of reasons. It is one thing when the AC comes to the end of its life because it has reached its life expectancy; it is another when preventable damage causes the unit to stop operating.

Blocked Ducts

Homes that have a central HVAC system also have a set of ducts installed. Ductwork is an old HVAC technology simply because the industry has evolved. Today, the field has found more efficient ways to cool a home. If your home has ducts, you do have to make an effort to keep them in good shape.

Professionals recommend a duct cleaning every so often because the ducts are going to gather dust and other particles. This is inevitable. If the ducts are blocked, the output has a tougher time reaching its destination. As it is, research shows that generally 25% of the system’s output does not reach its destination. While the air travels from the HVAC unit to the vents, it is slowly leaking out. Blocked vents make the travel that much more difficult. The problem is that you end up using more energy, which leads to higher energy costs.

While you are checking out the ducts, it is a good idea to take a look at the vents. The vents gather dust, too. When you use the AC for the first time, your goal is to prevent a dusting from the air pushing particles out. Professionals can help you navigate this issue.

Open Windows

New homes are built to be as energy-efficient as possible, so they are well-sealed. There are no cracks or crevices that allow indoor air to escape or outdoor air to enter. This is great for keeping out allergens and pollutants, but you have to be mindful of the indoor air even though it is fairly clean because eventually, it grows stale. When you clean and cook, you create volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are not good for your health. Therefore, you should open a window every so often.

The other side of the coin is that when you open the window, your cooled-off air is going to escape. What you are trying to do is reach a balance. When the weather is particularly hot outside, keep your windows closed. Otherwise, your AC’s output literally goes out the window, which has a negative impact on its efficiency.

Instead, find a better time to open a window so that your home can air out. Additionally, assess your windows and the amount of solar heat they receive during the daytime. Using curtains, coverings, and blinds on windows that are in the direct path of the sun at its peak is another great way to ensure your AC remains efficient.

For older homes, keep in mind the open windows as well as warped window frames. Homes that have an attic or a basement should try to seal off those areas with insulation. Your goal is to prevent your AC’s output from escaping your home as much as possible.

Open Doors

Some homes feature both a solid door and a screen door. If you are someone who enjoys keeping the solid door open, you are not alone. In the summer, however, you have to think about the negative impact that this practice has on your AC’s efficiency. You might try closing all of your home’s doors during the daytime. Then, when the sun begins to set, you can open the solid doors and keep the screen door closed. This is a nice way to air out your home, too, without letting in a lot of allergens, pollutants, and critters who fly.

Heat Sources Near Thermostat

When you decorate your home, you are encouraged to keep any electronic devices that give off heat away from the thermostat because sometimes these devices give off enough heat to confuse the thermostat. To be on the safe side, therefore, place the television, any video game consoles, and other electronic devices somewhere else.

Open Vents in Unoccupied Rooms

Something that is improving in the HVAC industry is how homes are cooled off. Ductwork got the job done for a long time, and it still does to some extent. Today, however, there are more efficient ways. Zoning is one. If your home has ducts and vents, one way to create zoning is to close the vents in rooms that are unoccupied while the AC is running.

There is no reason why the output needs to travel to destinations where it is not going to be enjoyed immediately or soon. Instead, force the output to travel to the rooms that are occupied. Opening and closing the vents should not be too much trouble. You can take zoning a step further by having professionals like us install dampers in the ducts. Then, a thermostat is added to rooms with vents. This gives household members control over a portion of the home and its temperature, which is a nice convenience.

Our team at D&H Air Conditioning & Heating can help you identify other everyday items that are decreasing your AC’s efficiency in Tucson; just give us a call to schedule an appointment. We also offer additional services such as maintenance plans, AC repairs, and installations.