Summer has finally arrived. That should come as no surprise to you, considering that temperatures have been in the 90s in recent weeks. Most likely, you do use your air conditioner on a regular basis. Hopefully, you haven’t had any major issues.
Take a look at your electric bills, regardless of how well you think your air conditioner is working. If your costs are increasing over last year’s despite similar use, your air conditioner might be losing performance.
Reasons Why Air Conditioners lose their efficiency
- The system is aging – You can take care of your air conditioner as meticulously as possible every year, but it will inevitably wear out. When air conditioners get older, their energy quality begins to deteriorate. However, how can you say if your system is outdated? In general, an air conditioner that has been properly installed and serviced will last 10–15 years. If yours has outlived its usefulness, it’s time to contact a technician to see if a replacement is necessary.
- Dirty condenser – Your outdoor condenser device will collect a layer of dust and other debris when your air conditioning system is not in operation during the winter. Since your evaporator coil is unable to efficiently release heat, your air conditioner must work harder. You should not try to clean your condenser coil on your own; it should be done by a professional.
- Clogged air filters – An air filter is supplied with your air conditioning system to protect the internal components. This air filter can become clogged when your air conditioner is turned on. As a consequence, airflow will be limited, which will result in energy loss. As a result, you can replace your air filter every 1–3 months. Check your filter at least once a month to see whether it needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Ways to Improve Air Conditioning System’s Efficiency
- Set the thermostat correctly – Changing the temperature by 5–8 degrees (lower in winter, higher in summer) will save money and resources. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature for various periods of the day or when you’ll be out for several hours.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed – When the sun shines directly on your windows, closing your curtains or blinds will prevent some of the heat from entering your house.
- Any exposed ductwork should be insulated – Make sure that any ductwork that passes through an unconditioned space is properly sealed so that no conditioned air escapes. Visible leaks can be repaired with UL 181-rated duct-sealing tape, so make sure the ductwork is checked by a professional on your next scheduled maintenance visit. It’s also a good idea to insulate the ductwork with the right thickness of duct insulation.
- Keep the area around the outdoor condenser device clean – If your outdoor unit is clean and free of clutter, it can run more effectively. Click here to read our HVAC efficiency post, which includes a video on how to clean your condenser properly. A professional should conduct a more detailed, in-depth cleaning.
- Lamps and other heat-producing devices should be kept away from your thermostat – heat-producing appliances close to your thermostat will signal to it that the air in your home needs to be cooled more, forcing the device to operate longer and function harder than it needs to.
- During the hottest hours of the day, avoid using your dryer and microwave – When you use your dryer, warm air is pulled into your house, and when you use your oven, warm air is added to your home, forcing your air conditioner to work harder.
Do You Need an HVAC Installer You Can Trust?
Superior Mechanical Services, Inc. began in 1948 as a family-owned business with a vision to provide value-minded service with a down-to-earth approach to customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As the premier Commercial and Residential HVAC Service provider for Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, Superior Mechanical can do it all, from heating and air conditioning services to boiler services, to plumbing services. Our technicians are certified professionals who will ensure every part of your project is done right using a careful checklist to guide and test each step. At the end of your appointment, we’ll show you how to get the most out of your new system and give you tips on maintenance so it lasts for years to come. Contact us today for amazing service tomorrow!