7 Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Your Air Conditioning
Heating and cooling make up over half of total utility expenses, according to the Department of Energy. For a typical US home, central air conditioning is a big expense but with the summer right around the corner, you need a system that runs efficiently and smoothly without costing you an arm and a leg. Here are some cost-effective ways to improve your home’s air conditioning efficiency to help maximize your HVAC system while minimizing costs.
#1: Change the Filter in Your Air Conditioner
You might not realize just how important it is to consistently change the filter in your air conditioning. Often, when your air conditioner is underperforming, the filter may be the culprit. When you don’t change your filter frequently enough, it becomes clogged, reducing the amount of cool air that your system is trying to circulate throughout your home.
The fix is pretty simple: insert a new filter. If you’re prone to forgetting when you last replaced your filter, set an alert on your phone to remind you when to replace it. Buy multiple filters at a time so you’ll have them on hand when you need them. Peninsula Heating & Air sells filters of all sizes! Visit our showroom today and stock-up.
#2: Increase Your Thermostat by a Few Degrees
Adjusting the temperature on your thermostat by about 5-8 degrees (cooler in the winter, warmer in the summer) can help to save a lot of money and energy. A programmable thermostat makes saving money this way incredibly easy because it allows you to adjust the temperature for various times of the day or times when you’re away from home for several hours. Additionally, Wi-Fi thermostats allow you to control the temperature in your home from anywhere, anytime! This flexibility is important for those who are consistently on-the-go.
#3: Keep Lamps and Other Heat-Producing Appliances Away from the Thermostat
Your thermostat is extremely intuitive. It senses the temperature of the air in its nearby vicinity and adjusts accordingly. If you place lamps and other appliances that give off heat too close to the thermostat, this can influence how the thermostat changes temperature. It will tell the thermostat that the air in the home needs to be cooled, causing the system to run longer and work harder than it likely needs to and increasing your air conditioning costs.
#4: Insulate Exposed Ductwork
Be sure that you have a professional check the ductwork in your home and ensure that there are no leaks and that it is properly insulated using duct-insulating material that is the right thickness. PHA is happy to provide this service.
#5: Clean Around the Outdoor Condenser Unit
Your outdoor unit works most efficiently when the space surrounding it is clear and it is clean of debris. This includes not planting (or building) anything obstructive near the outdoor AC unit. You may have noticed that some foliage has started growing a little too close to your air conditioning unit. For sufficient air intake, you’ll want at least 24 inches of clearance around your outdoor condenser unit. Any less than that could restrict the unit’s ability to draw air across the outdoor coil and cool off the hot refrigerant that passes through the condenser coil.
Additionally, it’s so important to have your system regularly maintained. At your next scheduled maintenance appointment, ask your technician about ways to keep your system working as efficiently as possible.
#6: Make Sure Your Vents Aren’t Blocked or Closed
This may seem minor, but your vents can actually be the culprit for overheating and overcooling certain rooms of your home. Make sure your vents have nothing keeping it from blowing freely. A blocked or closed vent doesn’t just affect the room it’s in, but also the system as a whole. It can put extra strain on the motors of your central AC and shorten the life of your HVAC system.
#7: Schedule Maintenance
If none of these fixes solve the problem, you still have options before turning to costly repairs or replacements. In one of our regular maintenance appointments, we’ll:
- Clean your equipment
- Make sure your system is running at peak performance
- Help avoid potential breakdowns
- Reduce the chance of costly repairs
- Maximize energy efficiency to reduce operating costs
Does this sound like something your HVAC system could use? Give PHA a call today!