5 Air Conditioner Efficiency Tips
18 May 2016,

Heating and cooling accounts for nearly 44- 56% of a household’s budget. During the spring and summer seasons your air conditioner will cycle on and off about 2-3 times every hour. Depending on the temperature, your air conditioning could be running at a maximum of 3,258 hours for the fully combined seasons of 181 days. Considering that the air conditioner system is the lungs of your home we want to ensure you know how to increase its efficiency, and help it perform at its optimal level.

 1.  Change the Air Filter

Summertime means extra work for AC filters, so check them often. Routinely changing or cleaning filters ensures maximum air flow and cooling temperatures, and can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. The quickest common blockers of air filters are foot traffic and shedding pets. Additional particles that commonly clog filters stem from home remodeling projects, heavily trafficked streets, and nearby construction. Cleaning or changing filters once a month is best. There are filters that need only cleaned or changed once per year, depending on the pollutant levels.

2.  Control the Air While You’re Away 

Your home thermostat is command central for your air conditioner and furnace, so take charge with a programmable thermostat to save energy and money. Programmable thermostats will typically save up to 10 percent off your heating and cooling costs[1], while increasing the longevity of your HVAC system. The way programmable thermostats do this is by gradually adjusting the temperature based on a preset schedule. Without a programmed thermostat, a person may come home to an overly warm house, if they remember to turn it down before leaving, then crank down the temperature. This does not cool the home any quicker. It does cause the air conditioner to run longer and use more energy. Visit our programmable thermostats tips and tricks article for more information to use your thermostat.

3.  Free the Compressor

The air conditioner condenser’s job is to pull in outside air. The more restriction, the less air flow. If air flow is restricted, the AC unit will work harder to get the air it needs to function at the designed Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), causing a strain and possible breakdowns.

Prevent air conditioner repair needs and maintain optimal levels by ensuring a five feet of clearance around each side of the air conditioner; this includes decks, shrubs, and debris. One last reminder is that the heat pump and air conditioner are made to endure Nebraska’s extreme weather and does not need covered, this will cause more harm than good.

4.  Properly Use Register Vents

It’s common for homeowners to close vents to unused rooms, but there is a caution to this. Be aware that your home insulation is in the exterior walls and when vents are closed and those rooms get too warm or cold those temperatures will be absorbed through the adjoining room’s walls. Also, closing off too many vents may cause issues with the furnace or air conditioner by shutting out it’s air circulation. Ensure the opened vents are clear by taking time, or enlisting little ones to ensure furniture and belongings are not covering registers in the rooms being used.

5.  Air Conditioner Maintenance

The most import efficiency tip

A maintained heating and cooling system can last up to 15 years or more at peak efficiency, saving you money on your utility bill every month and reducing the need for repairs. When an air conditioner system is not maintained, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) drops.

Proper air conditioner maintenance, included in our VIP Maintenance Program, is a 50 point Checklists that cleans and ensures that each of the components are in top working order.

Remember: Looks are Deceiving

If your AC or Heat pump coil looks clean, there could still be dirt, grime, and grease that collects in the small crevices of the fins, causing an obstructing wall within the coil. To clean the coil during our HVAC maintenance we use a special HVAC coil cleaner that loosens up all the grime to be washed away. Spraying the coil with a garden hose throughout the season is recommended to free the unit of LOOSE debris, such as cotton, leaves, and other large elements.

[1] http://energy.gov/articles/10-energy-saving-tips-spring

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