As temperatures soar, everyone wants to save on their cooling bills. Understand what negatively affects AC efficiency, and you can take steps to help lower your energy consumption.
- Clogged air filter: If your air conditioner can’t “breathe” properly, it ends up working harder to circulate air around the house. To prevent this, check and replace the air filter when the cooling season starts.
- Inefficient fan setting: Check your thermostat to see if the fan is set to “on” or “auto.” The “on” setting means the fan runs constantly. While this improves circulation, it also increases your energy bills and clogs the filter faster. In most cases, it’s better to choose the “auto” setting, which means the fan only runs when the compressor turns on.
- Dirty condenser coils: Check the condensing unit sitting outside your home. The heat transfer process is less effective if it’s covered in dirt, cobwebs, and grass clippings. Simply hose the unit down to remove debris and restore efficiency.
- Dirty evaporator coils: The indoor portion of your AC unit also contains coils. These can’t absorb heat as readily if they’re caked with dust. The safest way to keep the evaporator coils clean is to schedule annual tune-ups.
- Leaky ductwork: Unsealed joints, openings, or disconnections in the ductwork allow hot air to get into your home. An HVAC contractor can seal these leaks to improve air conditioner performance.
- Low temperature set point: The colder you make your house, the more energy your AC consumes. Try setting the thermostat to 78 degrees, dressing for the season, and running a fan to keep cool for less.
- Neglect: Your air conditioner works hard to keep your home comfortable all summer long. Annual HVAC maintenance combats the effects of wear and tear, keeping everything in good working order so you can rely on your AC unit year after year.
- Low SEER rating: The minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) in Utah is 13, though older units may have ratings much lower than this. Invest in a modern system rated 16 SEER or higher to lower your operating costs.
- Improperly sized system: An undersized system is problematic because it’s overworked on hot days, which raises your energy bills. An oversized system isn’t any better. It may cool your home quickly, but frequent cycling increases wear and tear and causes uncomfortable temperature swings. Work with an HVAC contractor to size any new HVAC equipment accurately.
- Old age: Air conditioners operate less efficiently each successive year, especially if they aren’t maintained. Eventually, you may start seeing a noticeable difference in performance. The only fix for this is to replace your AC unit.
If you need help addressing poor AC efficiency, turn to Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling. Our air conditioning services aim not only to improve energy efficiency but home comfort and indoor air quality as well. Contact us today at 801-890-2037 to schedule AC maintenance, repair, or replacement in Orem or Draper, UT.