More and more people are installing central AC in their homes because of its effectiveness. However, when poorly maintained, an AC system can become inefficient. If you want to know more, check out these three tips for improving AC efficiency.
1. Perform Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance should be performed about once a year. Many people chose to have it serviced by a professional just before the summer and just after the summer. Some maintenance can be performed by you, such as replacing or cleaning the filter as needed. Typically, if you have pets and/or suffer from allergies, you need to change/clean the filter more often.
During servicing, a lot happens. First, the inside of the system is cleaned, and all the moving parts are lubricated. All the most important parts are checked for damage to ensure they work properly. This usually includes checking the airflow, the blower, the condensation drains, and much more. They may even check the thermostat.
In addition, part of regular maintenance should include cleaning out the ducts and vent. Over time, dust and debris collect in the ducts. Not only can this reduce cooling efficiency and blow allergens/irritants into the living space, but it can also strain the system, resulting in less effectiveness and/or premature wear and tear.
2. Check Your Windows
Sometimes, it's not the system that's causing energy loss; it's the windows. Windows are terrible at causing energy loss, especially if they are old or worn. Older windows may not have energy-effective features like double-panes, UV blockers, etc., and they may have metal frames that transfer heat well.
A damaged window is also less effective. Even if you have double-pane windows, a crack in one pane can drop its efficiency to that of a single-pane window. Plus, wear and tear from constant expansion and contraction could have caused small holes to appear around the window frame.
If the issue is old and damaged windows, it may be time to replace them. You can also add caulk around the edge of the window. If you can't replace the windows, or if you believe your windows are in good condition, it may be a good idea to invest in some curtains or blinds to help block out the sun. Thermal curtains can help prevent hot air leaking through the window from reaching your living space while also creating a barrier to keep cool air inside the home.
3. Add Insulation
Last, your home may simply not have enough insulation for your air conditioner to be effective. The main problem with windows is that they lack insulating properties, which is why double-pane windows with insulating gases help. Other building materials have higher insulating properties, but you still need to add actual insulation to parts of the home.
The most important parts to add insulation are the attic and walls. In fact, your attic should have so much insulation that you can barely see the rafters. There are multiple types of insulation, but some have better sealing properties. Closed-cell spray foam, for example, will fully block out moisture. On the other hand, fiberglass mats can absorb liquid from a leak. Regardless of which you choose, however, make sure to add enough.
When adding insulation, don't forget about your AC system. No, you shouldn't insulate the AC system, but you should insulate some of the ducts used to transport that cooled air. Ducts in warm areas like the attic can cause heat gain inside the ducts, which warms the air before it reaches you, which will make you waste more energy to better cool the home.
Air conditioning is a lifesaver on hot days, but if your system stops working, it can be a nightmare. One of the best ways to keep your AC in good condition is with regular maintenance. If you would like to know more, contact an AC provider in your area today.