While summer is knocking the doors, probably almost everyone is checking on their air conditioners. They are our saviors from the unbearable heat. However, as we all know, this saving comes with a price. And in order to lower this price to the least, it’s time to recall some tips on how to make the air conditioning systems operate efficiently without consuming high amounts of power, and therefore increasing the electric expenses that you handle. There are measures to take inside and outside your home to guarantee higher air conditioning performance. Another aspect of the process is the air conditioner itself; it should be energy-efficient and regularly checked to fix any problem that could lower its performance. Following are 15 tips on maintaining high air conditioning performance.
1 Regular maintenance
It is a great idea to let an AC repair service check your air conditioner every once in a while for further protection and higher performance. A regular check on the AC system will prevent the accumulation of problems which could lead to severe issues that take time and money to deal with, or worse by causing permanent damage in the appliance that forces you to replace it. The adage “prevention is better than cure” applies here too.
2 Ensure the cleanness of the unit’s housing
The unit’s housing, or condenser, is a significantly relevant aspect that determines the level of air conditioning performance. So, check it regularly to ensure that it is clean. Do not let debris, leaves, birds’ feathers, etc. accumulate in and around the housing unit. Plus, keep in mind that surrounding your air conditioner with feet of clearance is necessary for robust, high performance. Therefore, if you have a home garden, for example, do not let the bushes and plants grow close to the condenser.
3 Replace dirty filters
Maintaining the air filters clean is a must, for a dirty filter slows down the air circulation. An easy way to know if your filter needs replacement is to pull it out and see if the light shines through it. If it does not, replace the filter.
4 Prevent the heat from entering
In the afternoons, let the drapes and solar shade screens cover windows for further prevention of the sun heat from entering the home. If you live in a quite hot area, it is recommended that you stay away from ample windows. Another related tip is to place the thermostat in a shady place, for if it is in the way of the shining sun, it will sense the heat, causing the air conditioner to run longer.
5 Stop the air from escaping
A further aspect for a higher air conditioning performance is to make sure the cold air stays in the home; insulate any air leaks you have. And keep in mind that poor insulation causes a drain in energy consumption. The escaping of the air from home reduces the efficiency of the cooling system and raises its cost.
6 Check on the ventilation fins
If the ventilation fins of the air conditioner are closed, the air will not flow properly to the unit. So, a simple thing you could do to guarantee yourself a better air conditioning performance is to pay attention to the fins. Make sure they are always open.
7 Ventilating the home serves well
Indeed a well-ventilated home is necessary for a higher and extra-efficient air conditioning performance. Make use of the ceiling, attic and whole-house fans to distribute the air and make the house feel cooler. It is an essential thing to do as if some areas in your place, such as the attic, are not well-ventilated, it would affect the efficiency of your air conditioner, for you will need to set the thermostat at a lower level to overcome the heat coming from the unventilated areas. Besides, ceiling fans could assist you to lower the use of the air conditioner fan. They do the same job, which is distributing the cool air within the place. However, a ceiling fan consumes less energy than the air conditioner fan, for the first can be set on low while the later is always on auto.
8 Keep the units in shady spots
Keeping the outdoor air conditioner in the shade increases its performance. To protect your unit from the sun’s heat, plant some overhead trees or add a cover over it. The U.S. Department of Energy stated that air conditioning could be more efficient when shaded. The important thing is to keep the cover, whether natural or artificial, at a proper distance from the unit, 24 inches away or more, so as not to interrupt the airflow.
9 Pay attention to the thermostat
Keep the thermostat set to the highest temperature possible, for this will save you energy, and therefore, money. The energy consumption starts to increase when dialing below 78. So, go for the highest temperature you can tolerate and make you feel cool, but do not go for extra coolness.
10 Consider replacing an old unit
It is indeed money and time-consuming solution, yet a reasonable one too. Old air conditioners are more likely to require major repairs frequently, which could lower their efficiency. So, if you can afford such a move, do not hesitate and go for an energy-efficient unit. It is quite beneficial in the long term. Also, due to the competitive prices of different brands and federal tax credits, the costs of energy-efficient air conditioners have been reducing. Hence, there is a good chance that you will find one that suits your pocket.
11 Maintain the surrounding cool as possible
If you live in a quite hot spot, try not to draw extra heat to the surrounding of your place, for this will increase the temperature inside and the energy consumed by the air conditioner to cool the home. Some precautions that could aid you to achieve this goal are to skip adding lots of rocks, asphalt, and cement in the landscape, especially on the south and west sides of the house.
12 Insulate the air conditioner ducts
Insulating the appliance ducts increases its performance and help you save energy. You could do so by sealing the ducts and wrapping them in fiberglass.
13 Appliances and thermostat shouldn’t be adjacent
Keeping running appliances next to the thermostat will raise the temperature around it. As the temperature stays high because of the appliances, the thermostat will keep the air conditioner running. So, place the electronics away from the thermostat.
14 Install window films
Solar films, also called tints, are an effective way to keep your home cool at summers and warm at winters. By applying them to the interior windows, they prevent the ultraviolet light from entering the home. Therefore, window films keep the temperature of your place under control around the year.
15 Keep furniture away from the vents
You should not only make sure that the vents are open but surround them with empty space as well so that they can function properly, and consequently raise the performance of the air conditioning system.