The first tip for a healthy air conditioner is to maintain it properly. Just like a car, your air conditioner needs a tune up every year to be sure it’s in good condition to handle the demands of the hot season. Taking the car example, let’s say you’re planning a cross-country road trip. When would you have your car tuned up – before or after you depart? Likewise, the best time to tune up your air conditioner is before the season of peak usage. But even if you have procrastinated on your routine maintenance, it’s not too late! Your system still deserves a good ole’ shot in the arm to help boost its performance through the rest of the summer.
But what exactly is so important to maintain? Well, your air conditioner is a fairly complex piece of machinery, with several parts that contribute to its functionality. If one of these parts isn’t functioning as it should be, the whole system suffers in energy efficiency and performance. During the yearly tune-up, your technician will check all of the electrical connections, lubricate moving parts, and check the condensate drain for clogs. He will also make sure the system is turning on and off properly and adjust the blower components to ensure there are no airflow problems. Airflow problems can cause up to a 15% loss of efficiency. He will also check the refrigerant levels, and clean the evaporator and condenser coils, as dirt on these coils can reduce both the cooling efficiency and the overall lifespan of the machine. Your technician can also spot any other problem areas that need attention.
After the technician has completed his work, there is still more that you, the homeowner, can do to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your central AC. The first practical pointer is to raise the temperature on the thermostat by the couple of degrees. Not only will your air conditioner not have to work as hard to maintain the room temperature, but you will certainly save money on the electric bill. If you already have your thermostat as high as you are comfortable with, then try running a ceiling fan in the rooms you occupy. This will allow you to raise the thermostat a couple degrees further, without loss of comfort. Fans also use less energy than the A/C, but remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
Another simple tip you can follow is to make sure that your furniture is not blocking any air vents, impeding air flow. The more freely the air can circulate, the cooler your home will feel. Also, don’t run the exhaust fans in your kitchen or bathroom longer than necessary. These exhaust fans replace the indoor air with outside air, making the A/C work harder to cool your home. Finally, remember to hose down your outside A/C unit from time to time, and remove any debris like dirt or branches that may have settled around it. A clean outdoor unit is a more efficient one.
If your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer, more energy efficient model. There’s no telling how much you could be saving in your monthly energy costs with a new AC system. Ask about units with a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of at least 14 or 15, as these are the most up-to-date and energy efficient. A new system can use up to 40% less energy than an outdated one, and in many cases a new air conditioner will eventually pay for itself in energy savings alone. Also, for added efficiency, you may want to check into purchasing a programmable thermostat. lg dual inverter ac 1 ton There are new models available that are wifi-enabled, so you can adjust your home temperature settings from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet device, or laptop. These so-called “smart thermostats” can really be an intelligent choice for those concerned with energy efficiency. One of the newest and best thermostats on the market is the Lennox iComfort Wifi, which allows your to control your AC from your computer, smartphone and tablet