AC System Optimization: 8 Tips for Peak Performance

Cooling and heating your home, thanks to the function of components such as the condenser, accounts for the highest percentage of your residential energy usage. Any reduction in energy usage, including ensuring proper insulation, will result in fewer costs on your utility bills and more money in your pocket.

By being proactive and thinking purposefully about your air system, you can institute many changes to ensure that your system is working optimally and efficiently. Most of these steps, like regularly removing debris or maintaining a maintenance schedule, are easy and just require you to implement them. You will be rewarded with a more efficient cooling system and less energy usage, better refrigerant functioning, which all contributes to the system’s efficiency, and a well-working fan.

1. Keeping the Right Temperature

You can reduce your cooling and heating energy usage substantially by simply adjusting your thermostat temperature settings several degrees higher or lower, depending on the season. These savings, enhanced by the fan’s lubrication and the efficiency of the blades, can be as much as 10 percent a year if you adjust the thermostat by seven to ten degrees Fahrenheit. Your savings will be the greatest in a milder climate.

It is generally recommended that you keep your thermostat setting at 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months for the times you are in your home. If you will be away for four or more hours, it is suggested that you raise the thermostat setting to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can also use this strategy during the winter months by keeping the thermostat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and at 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you are away for long periods. The less difference between your thermostat setting and the temperature outside, the less energy your system will consume.

2. Installing a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is a useful tool for optimizing the running of your AC system. You can set these handy items at different temperatures for specified times and cycles of the day. This makes it much easier to program one temperature setting for when you are home and another setting for when you are away for several hours or are asleep. If you have a “smart” thermostat, you can also manage the settings remotely via an app on a mobile device.

3. Keeping Vents and Rooms Open

Many people falsely believe that you can save cooling and heating energy by closing off vents and doors in rooms that are not being used. However, this is not true. You will make your AC system work harder and run longer if you do so. The AC system needs air to circulate freely throughout the home in order to work optimally.

4. Replacing Air Filters

Changing the air filters is easy enough to do, but many of us forget to change them in a timely manner. You should change your AC air filter every month as part of a well-orchestrated schedule to maintain efficiency.

The air filter serves to capture fine particulates from the air as it is flowing into the AC system. This prevents the particulates from contaminating the air and from accumulating on the AC coils. The particles and dust collect on the fibers of the filter, and, after time, the airflow becomes constricted. The AC system has to work harder to draw in the air as a result.

5. Receiving Regular Maintenance

Your AC system is a complex system and a significant investment. Most AC systems have an average life span of 10 – 15 years, and a comprehensive maintenance plan, including regular inspections can extend this life a few more years. Regular maintenance will also keep your system running as optimally as possible.

Your professional technician will conduct a thorough cleaning and check of your system. The coils and fan blades can become dirty over time, which will cause the system to work harder than it should to cool your home. This process includes inspecting the insulation for any defects that may lower the AC’s efficiency.The technician might also have to optimize the working of your air conditioner by straightening and cleaning the bent fins, which are a crucial part of the electrical connections in the device. Keeping these components clean, much like shaking off the dirt from a window, will also ensure that your indoor air is comfortable and free from contaminants and pollutants, thus maintaining the overall health of all dependent areas.

Preventive maintenance, akin to regular cleaning of your house windows, will not only help reduce energy usage and improve indoor air quality, but it will also lessen the chance of extensive repairs. Careful maintenance of your air conditioners and thermostats will keep their components in good working order and catch issues early before they become large problems. The Cooling Company offers a cooling maintenance plan in Las Vegas, including professional installation and repair services, that is performed by trained technicians for your peace of mind.

6. Having a Correctly Sized System

Your air system, just like the windows of your building, needs to be in the correct proportion to your building in order to run efficiently. You may think that with an air conditioner, the bigger, the better, but this is not the case. An air system that is too large will cycle off before it has completely cooled the home and then quickly cycle back on again.

These short cycles are a bit like if your windows were to constantly be opened and closed; they will use more energy than remaining in a steady state. The short cycles of air conditioners do not run long enough to remove the humidity as needed, resulting in uncomfortably damp indoor air.

In contrast, an air system that is too small for your building will feel as ineffective as trying to cool a hall with a single window. The unit will run for extended intervals as it attempts to cool or heat the home to the required temperature. This will result in higher energy costs and also lessen the life of your system.

7. Cleaning the Drain Line

Most AC systems will have a condensation drain line, designed to act as an added layer of protection against moisture, similar to an air conditioner’s version of a window’s dirt track, draining away the moisture that has accumulated from the condensation formed from the cooling process. If the drain line is clogged, it can cause the water to back up or overflow the drain pan.

A clogged drain line in your air conditioner is equivalent to dirt and debris built up on your windows; it will cause the system to not be as effective in removing moisture, and it can also cause increased growth of biological compounds. Regular checks and cleaning, like washing the windows, are needed during your annual maintenance tune-up to prevent water damage from an overflowing drain pan.

8. Inspecting the Ductwork

The ductwork in your home is probably not something you think about very often, much like the hidden areas behind curtains and blinds. However, just like the hidden spaces, your ductworks need maintenance and attention. The ducts can develop small tears and leaks, which can become larger over time if not taken care of.

Similar to your windows needing a good cleaning, the ductwork may also need a comprehensive purge to remove dust and other particulates that can escape into your home. Professional AC technician should perform a detailed inspection of your ductwork system every three to five years, much like your windows would benefit from a check.

The Cooling Company offers expert cooling and heating work in Las Vegas that includes most relevant air quality home services. Our trained and knowledgeable technicians can repair, install, and maintain your air system and improve your air quality.

We offer ductwork inspections, akin to making sure the windows in your home are secure and can repair or install a new ductwork system. If you would like to learn more about how you can have a fully optimized AC system, or if you need any type of heating or cooling services, give The Cooling Company a call today.