Heating and cooling your home has never been cheap, but it’s even pricier today with rising energy costs and unpredictable weather.
The United States Department of Energy has estimated climate controlling your homes makes up roughly 56 percent of your energy bill. When the summer months hit, A/C is a necessity that raises your electric bill. However, you don’t have to feel guilty about keeping you and your family cool — Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has constructed a list of tips that can help you improve your air conditioning efficiency.
Tips to Improve Air Conditioner Efficiency
From no-cost tricks to easy fixes, there’s plenty you can do to make the number on your monthly bill a little lower and your family more comfortable, including the following:
- Clean Your Condenser: The exterior unit of your air conditioning system is subject to all kinds of wear and tear, so keeping it clean can go a long way in helping its efficiency. Vegetation and all other objects should be at least 18 inches away from the unit, which will help with air circulation. You can also hose down the condenser coils to rid them of dirt. Dirty coils can force the entire unit to work a lot harder, which decreases efficiency and wears down parts.
- Shade Your Unit: If your condenser sits out in the direct light of the sun for most of the day, it’s taking on a lot of heat. Use natural means like leafy trees or bushes nearby to keep it in the shade, which can increase efficiency by as much as 10 percent, according to the Department of Energy.
- Clean or Change Your Air Filter: Similar to the condenser, dirty air filters block airflow and force the entire system to work harder. Some can be cleaned, while replacing a disposable air filter is easy to do, as well. Follow manufacturer guidelines when it comes to replacement, as most filters last one-to-three months or even longer for media filters. Not only will the A/C cool the air better, but it will also make the air cleaner.
- Clean the Vents: More cleaning? It might be tedious, but cleanliness is a large part of maintaining an effective air conditioning system. Vacuum and dust near your vents, whether they’re on the floor or ceiling, to clear away dirt so more air can flow through. Also, make sure those vents aren’t covered by drapes, furniture, toys or any other object that can obstruct the air.
- Adjust Your Thermostat: This might seem counterproductive when the outdoor temperature gauge reads in the 90s, but slightly adjusting your thermostat — about 5 to 8 degrees down in the winter and up in the summer — can yield gradual gains. In fact, you can save up to nine percent for every degree you adjust. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to automatically change its settings based on your schedule.
- Insulate and Seal Ducts: If your ductwork runs through an unconditioned space, you can wrap it in insulation to keep avoid heat loss or gain. Also, check for obvious leaks , then seal them as best as possible, foil tape works great. Be sure to inform a technician about leaks during your next scheduled maintenance session.
- Clear the Drainage: By washing out the drain near the unit’s internal cooling coil, you can prevent blockages, which in turn can force water overflows that damage the A/C unit and surrounding objects.
- Draw Your Blinds/Drapes: Sun that enters your house in the peak of the day can pump up the temperature by a noticeable margin. Blackout curtains, blinds, solar screens and other covers will help filter out the light and reduce the heat a bit.
- Avoid Certain Appliances: It’s easy to feel the heat that comes off of stovetops, ovens and dryers, as they all can significantly impact your house’s climate control. Avoid their impact by using them at night or during cooler parts of the day.
- Schedule an Inspection or Maintenance: Ultimately, some of the issues that affect your air conditioning might require a trained expert’s touch. By scheduling a quick and easy visit, a technician can diagnose potential problems and fix them.
Choose Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning
At Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on offering excellent customer service and quick, precise work. Thanks to our commitment to the craft, we have been voted Simply Best for Plumbing & HVAC since 2005.
We’ll gladly assist any client throughout the Greater Harrisburg area, which includes Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, Hershey and the West Shore. Contact us today for more advice on how to improve the efficiency of your A/C system.