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How to Improve Air Conditioner Efficiency

Summer is a busy couple of months for residents in Alabama. After plenty of time spent outdoors, coming home to a cool home makes for a relaxing end to the hectic activities. Boost your air conditioner efficiency for better comfort and energy savings with these smart tips from Douglas Cooling & Heating. We want you to enjoy all Alabama has to offer this season without struggling to keep your house cool!

Tips for Enhanced Air Conditioner Efficiency

Enjoying outdoor activities all summer long can be exhausting, which is why it’s so important to come home to a cool environment. The summer heat and humidity can add stress to your cooling system when it tries to combat the rising temperatures, which will increase energy costs. Luckily, you can take preventative steps to strengthen your HVAC system and save money with these air conditioner efficiency tips:

Install a Dehumidifier

Installing a whole-home dehumidifier can improve air conditioner efficiency. Air conditioners remove some humidity from the air as they run, but they aren’t equipped to combat high humidity levels.

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, which can otherwise build up inside air conditioners and interfere with their performance. With a whole-home dehumidifier keeping the air inside your home dry, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to maintain comfortable temperatures.

Clean AC System Drain

Your air conditioner must drain away condensation produced during the cooling process. If the drain line does become blocked, it can reduce air conditioner efficiency.

One way to keep your air conditioner drain line clear is to pour one cup of chlorine bleach down it and flush the line with water. Doing this regularly will help prevent any issues related to blockages in the line. Another way to keep the drain line clear is by making sure that it is not buried under mulch or dirt outside of your home. Using a wet/dry vacuum to remove any debris or clogs can be helpful!

Use Ceiling Fans Properly

Embrace your ceiling fans this summer by running them counterclockwise. Fans push the cool air from your central air conditioner down towards the floor, creating a cool breeze that floats across the room. The cool air evaporates the perspiration on the skin, creating a wind-chill effect that helps you feel cooler without touching the thermostat.

When using fans in occupied rooms or rooms with heat-producing appliances, you can actually raise the thermostat a few degrees and not notice the difference in temperature. The result will allow you to relax comfortably in your home, enhance air conditioning efficiency, and save money. Please note that the effects of the ceiling fan are only beneficial when people are around to enjoy them, so be sure to turn off the fans when people exit the room to conserve electricity.

Cover Windows

As the sun rises and the temperature begins to climb, you may be tempted to open the blinds and let in the light. Doing so can actually make your home hotter, increasing the amount of work your central air conditioning system must do to keep your home comfortable.

To keep your cool and prevent solar heat gain, it’s best to close the curtains or blinds on your windows. Doing so will help block out the heat of the day and boost air conditioner efficiency by lowering the home’s cooling load.

Improve Airflow of the Exterior Condenser Unit

During the summer months, storms deliver strong winds and rain, which can hinder your exterior unit’s ability to cool your home adequately. Branches, twigs, leaves, and other debris get blown around and up against the outdoor condensing unit, which interferes with the airflow.

Restricted airflow doesn’t allow the air compressor to cool down when it’s operating, forcing it to work harder and overheat. The air compressor will eventually fail, resulting in an expensive HVAC repair and the other components in the outdoor unit will also experience excessive wear and tear when forced to work harder to compensate. More energy is used to maintain ideal temperatures in your home when the airflow is compromised, hampering your air conditioning system.

Keep your exterior condenser unit clear of debris to protect your air conditioning unit and to avoid expensive HVAC repairs in the future. Clean up the outdoor unit whenever you’re outside doing yard work or after a strong storm.

Change the Air Filter

The air filter in your cooling system needs to be checked every month and replaced often. The exact schedule will depend on the type of air filters you use and the air quality inside your home. Often homeowners find they need to replace filters more frequently than usual during the summer months. This is due to increased system usage.

As your air conditioning operates, it pulls in dirt, dust, pollen, and other allergens. The filter is tasked with catching these particles and keeping them out of the HVAC equipment. These particles will end up clogging your filter if it isn’t changed regularly.

A dirty filter not only stops filtering contaminants in your home’s air but also restricts the airflow inside your unit. Just like with the outdoor unit, restricted airflow forces the air conditioner to work harder, expending more energy than necessary to cool your home. Check your filter and regularly replace it to keep your indoor air healthy and relieve your air conditioning system of any undue stress.

Keep Vents Open

If you’re considering opening or closing the registers in certain rooms, think again. This can actually adversely affect your air conditioning and may eventually cause serious damage to your system. Closed vents also lead to discomfort inside your home.

Occasionally, walk throughout your home and make sure all register and vent covers are open and unblocked. Remove any furniture, rugs, or other items that obstruct these vents so cold air can freely flow into your living areas.

Seal Leaky Ducts

The ductwork in your home experiences a high volume of air and pressure during the year. This traffic can cause joints to separate, forming cracks and gaps that let conditioned air out. The cool air escaping through damaged sections of your ductwork creates uneven temperatures throughout your home, which triggers your air conditioner to operate more often, reducing air conditioner efficiency.

Douglas Cooling & Heating offers professional air duct sealing to reduce air leaks and improve efficient air conditioning during the hottest times of the year. Schedule duct sealing to close air leaks, holes, and gaps in your ductwork and prevent energy loss during the summer.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance

You shouldn’t go on vacation without having your car serviced beforehand, and the same is true of your cooling system. Air conditioning systems need maintenance before the heat and humidity arrive. Schedule HVAC maintenance each year, ideally in the spring, to keep your cooling unit and its components clear of dust, grime, and other debris.

During service, all components are inspected, and potential problems are diagnosed early. Regular system tune-ups improve efficiency, extends the cooling system’s lifespan, and reduce the risk of emergency HVAC repairs.

Is it Time For a New Air Conditioner?

If you’ve tried all of our tips and you find that your house isn’t comfortable and your cooling bills are still higher than you’d like them to be, it might be a sign that you need a new air conditioner. Air conditioning systems tend to last 10-15 years, and if yours is getting old, it could be a sign to switch to a new model. Douglas Cooling & Heating can install a new and much more efficient Bryant air conditioner in your home. Air conditioners have become much more energy-efficient since the last time you shopped for one, and there are even a variety of models with different efficiency ratings to choose from. Talk to Douglas Cooling & Heating when shopping for a new air conditioner and we can help you find a powerful cooling system that fits your budget.

Stay Cool for Less This Summer

Take advantage of efficient air conditioning this summer by using ceiling fans, changing the air filter, and clearing away debris from the outdoor unit. These simple tasks drastically improve your AC efficiency and help you save money on cooling costs. Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating to schedule routine maintenance or professional duct cleaning from our NATE-certified technicians.

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