Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Your House Air Conditioner
Your house air conditioner consumes the most energy of all the systems in your home, so it makes sense to focus on AC efficiency first when you’re trying to cut energy costs. Here are a few tips for maximizing the efficiency of your house air conditioner and minimizing the amount of power it requires to keep your home comfortable.
Replace the Filter Regularly
The filter for your house air conditioner is generally the same one that your furnace uses, since all air for the home gets pushed through this same system. Since it’s located in the furnace, it’s easy to forget that it needs to be changed in the summer as well as the winter, but even during the warmer months the air for the home circulates through that filter. Making sure this filter is kept clean and replaced before it gets clogged will ensure the air moves through it easily, preventing your system from having to work so hard. Be sure to change this filter at least every other month throughout the summer, possibly even every month if you have pets, live in a dusty area, or suffer from seasonal allergies.
Keep All Vents Clean and Clear
Another small but important detail that often gets overlooked is keeping all vents inside the home clean and clear. This means not only checking the vents that blow cold air, but the intake vents as well. If they are dirty or blocked, the blower will have to work harder to circulate air and could cost you a pretty penny. Make sure you don’t block these intake vents with furniture and vacuum them out periodically to prevent them from getting blocked with dirt, pet hair and debris.
Clean Up Around Your Air Compressor
Your house air conditioner has an outdoor unit, called the air compressor, which is responsible for transferring the heat inside your home to the outdoors where it can be released. If your compressor isn’t kept clear and can’t “breathe” properly, however, that heat won’t transfer and the refrigerant will carry it back into the home, hindering effectiveness and causing your air conditioner to have to work harder to catch up. You could even damage your air conditioner over time if the situation isn’t remedied.
To ensure your air compressor is able to do its job, make sure it has two feet in every direction to breath, and keep landscaping from encroaching on that space. It also pays to check the compressor regularly and make sure no debris has accumulated around it. Regular, once-a-year maintenance from your HVAC service provider will keep it cleaned out and functioning properly inside the casing, too.
Seal and Insulate Ductwork
If it seems like the air coming out of your vents isn’t very cold, the problem may not be with the efficiency of your home air conditioner, but with the ductwork that distributes cold air throughout the house. Any leaks in this ductwork will bring warmer air into circulation, raising the temperature of the air that eventually gets blown out.
If you suspect this might be a problem, you may be able to locate and seal some leaks yourself, but your best bet is to have your HVAC service provider out for a thorough testing of your ductwork. Leaks will be identified and sealed, and you can even have your ductwork insulated to better maintain the cold temperature of the air moving through it.
If you suspect your house air conditioner isn’t as efficient or as effective as it could be, you can do several things yourself, such as changing the filter or clearing the space around the outdoor air compressor. If you do all of those things and it still seems like your AC could be better, call Maeser. Our skilled technicians will identify and resolve the problem, helping you stay cool and comfortable all summer long.