Your large home appliances, including your refrigerator with its refrigerant, evaporator and condenser coils, play major roles in the unseen pathways of your house when it comes to your electricity and gas bill. For instance, your air conditioning system, a complex unit incorporating various elements such as vents, ductwork, a cooling coil, and a condenser unit, is a significant contributor. The area within your home where these appliances reside, such as the attic and rooms, make a crucial difference. Refrigerators, and water heaters are big culprits, but the one that ends up using the most energy is your home heating and cooling system. And, in addition to these, don’t forget the often-overlooked HVAC component, the condensate drain system that handles excess condensation formed due to the heat exchange process. Pieces of information, like recognizing any leaks in this system, can help save on your energy bill.
An HVAC system, with its many essential components like the compressor, ducts for airflow, insulation for temperature regulation, and a well-maintained ventilation system, can use up to half of the energy consumed by your entire household. The amount of dust and debris accumulated in the system, or even the dirt in the ductwork of your system could obstruct the airflow, causing it to exert more effort, therefore consuming more energy. The temperature regulation is particularly sensitive to these sorts of blockages. This means rooms with poor temperature management can feel like you’re outside under direct sunlight. Thus, tips to improve your air conditioner efficiency are ways that may just save you more than a few bucks. Read on to find out how regular maintenance like changing the air filter can help.
4 Tips to Help Improve the Efficiency of Your Air Conditioner
1. Keep Your System Running at Peak Performance
Old heating and cooling systems, especially those with aging ducts and inadequate insulation, need to be maintained in order to keep cooling your home to the best of their ability. Just like the dust under your furniture, debris can accumulate in these systems, and in areas such as the life-supporting attic, without proper maintenance, any appliance will break down. For HVAC systems, upkeep means doing things like ensuring proper airflow by regularly changing the filters so the machine doesn’t have to work harder than necessary. It also means having regular inspections from a professional technician who can tune up your HVAC system, safeguarding it from overuse and potential condensation issues, as well as clean it so it works to its full potential.
2. Open Your Windows/Use Ceiling Fans
If the air temperatures outside permits it, open your windows and doors to let the cool air in and the stuffy, stale air out. This simple act of ventilation helps in letting the cool breeze in and the stuffy, sun-heated air out, just like how objects under the sun radiate heat. This is good for your health as well as your wallet. Additionally, using the shade to your advantage by closing blinds or curtains can help keep the temperature down. Using ceiling fans if you have them, can also aid in airflow. During the summer, they can help circulate the air and keep the temperature down as the breeze on your skin creates a wind chill effect. This way, the air conditioner can run less, and you’ll still stay comfortable in every room.
3. Upgrade Your Thermostat to Improve Air Conditioner Efficiency
A programmable thermostat will help you keep better control over the temperature inside your home. Your air conditioner will run less, especially if you take advantage of settings like automatic timers. Set your air conditioner to automatically turn off if the sun’s heat outside drops below a certain mark, for instance, or when the curtains or blinds provide enough shade.
4. Upgrade to a New System
Taking steps like regular maintenance, ensuring proper insulation and ventilation, and checking for any condensate drain issues is by far the most effective way to reduce energy costs and improve your air conditioner’s efficiency. A new HVAC system with modern ducts and a fine-tuned condenser unit, refrigerant, evaporator and compressor will cool your home better than an old system in every room, and it will use far less energy to do it. This equals more comfort and less money spent. The savings are even more significant if your HVAC system is dated by 10 years or more. If this is the case, a new system might save you hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs.
To find out your potential energy savings when you upgrade to a new heating/cooling system, try out The Cooling Company’s Energy Savings Calculator.
With this tool, you will see an estimate of how much money you could save per year with a new system as compared with your old one. It will also give you an idea of how making an energy-efficient upgrade can positively impact the environment.