How to Help Your AC Perform at Its Best
It’s no secret that an efficient air conditioner is crucial during hot days. When your AC isn’t functioning properly, your home’s air isn’t the only thing that suffers. The energy bill takes a hit, too. Before tackling the ways to fix this problem, here are some things to look for when determining your AC’s performance.
Your Unit Cycles Too Often
An AC that’s functioning properly should have fairly set schedules of running and turning off. If your unit seems to turn on and off too quickly, there may be a problem with your thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t reacting to the temperature changes correctly, it will tell the AC the wrong information about when and how long to run.
The Compressor Has Ice on It
A leak in your AC’s coolant line is the most common cause of ice buildup on the unit. Another potential cause is a dirty filter. If there’s ice on the AC’s compressor, you can be certain it isn’t functioning properly. It’s best to call an HVAC professional to get the matter handled.
Although your AC will make certain sounds when functioning normally, sounds that are loud or unusual suggest something isn’t right. If you hear something you don’t recognize while your unit is running, it’s best to shut it down to prevent things from getting worse. An HVAC professional will know how to deal with the issue.
Here are some ways to increase the efficiency of your AC unit.
Reduce Your AC’s Heat Gain
When your home brings in hot air naturally, it can be extremely difficult for your AC to keep up. To start, think about potential air leaks in your residence. This issue becomes more probable if you own an older home. It may be worthwhile to air seal your home so that cool air can effectively circulate.
Secondly, you should think about your home’s insulation. The attic is a great place to begin. If your attic doesn’t have sufficient insulation or the insulation isn’t spread out properly, you’ll want to fix this. Before getting to work, however, you should make sure your attic is already air sealed.
Finally, try to reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your home. By keeping windows shaded, heat from the sunlight will be minimized.
Make Sure Your AC Is Removing Heat Properly
If there are no serious signs of a malfunctioning AC, there are some maintenance tasks you can perform to help it remove as much heat from your home as possible.
Dirty filters are one of the biggest causes of insufficient heat removal. When your air filters are dirty, airflow is reduced and your home isn’t receiving as much cool air as it should. If airflow is severely affected, your AC coil can freeze and the compressor can become damaged. Sometimes filters need to be replaced completely.
It’s common for people to have home objects covering their vents. In order to make sure that return and supply vents in your home are able to move the air where it needs to go, nothing can be cutting off the air supply.
Invest in an Automated Thermostat
If you have a manual thermostat and frequently find yourself unable to turn it down, it may be worth having a programmable thermostat. With an automated system, your AC will adjust itself automatically. You can also program it to fit your schedule.
Turn Electronics Off After Use
Although it may seem as though it doesn’t make much of a difference, you’d be surprised by just how much heat electronics add to your home. Your AC unit might be having a difficult time compensating for all of this extra heat.
Computers, exercise equipment, and machinery can all add substantial amounts of heat to the air. Electronic devices that are plugged in to a power outlet for long stretches of time are particularly problematic.
Be sure to power off electronics when you’re not using them. Laptops and other devices that aren’t plugged in constantly are much less of a problem.
Perform Maintenance Frequently
General maintenance of your AC unit helps prevent inefficiencies. Whether it’s cleaning and replacing filters, addressing any duct problems that come up, or looking for other issues, checking up on your unit from time to time can help you become aware of issues before they become more serious.
It’s always a good idea to have routine maintenance appointments at the beginning and end of the season. An HVAC professional can make sure your unit is good to go before and after that long stretch of hot days.
Keep Windows and Doors Closed
Although it may be tempting to open your window on a pleasant night, it usually isn’t necessary if your AC is working properly. It doesn’t take long before warm air from opened doors or windows wafts into your home and raises the temperature substantially.
If you need to air out your home or have doors and windows open for any reason, it’s best to turn off your AC. Your unit will simply not be able to compete with the hot air coming in, so turning it off will save energy and prevent any potential damage.
If you’re finding it difficult to keep the temperature of individual rooms consistent, it may be worth investing in a zoning system. A zoning system allows you to divide your home into rooms or groups of rooms that can be controlled individually for maximum comfort.
Consider Retrofitting Your Unit
“Retrofitting” is a fancy term for adding new technology to an outdated system. If your unit is getting old but you still think it’s more cost-effective to install new tech rather than getting the entire AC replaced, then retrofitting can be a great investment.
In order to be retrofitted, your unit should be large, well maintained, energy-intensive, and frequently used. In best case scenarios, your energy costs can be reduced by as much as 35% per year after your AC has been retrofitted.
People typically find that their air temperature becomes much more consistent after components are added to their unit or replaced. Retrofitting is also a smart move to make if you’re still gathering the funds for a new unit and need a temporary improvement.
Make Use of Fans
Although an AC unit should be able to do most of the cooling, fans can still aid in circulating air throughout the home. Placing fans in front of windows on the main floor of your home will help to bring cooler air into the space. Upstairs, fans should be aimed toward openings in order to drive warm air out.
Ceiling fans can also support the cooling process of your AC. A ceiling fan that is in working order pulls warm air toward the ceiling as it spins, leaving the space below nice and cool.
At Hoff Heating & AC, we’re committed to serving homes in O’Fallon, Missouri and surrounding areas. With great services such as cooling, heating, geothermal energy, and indoor air quality, we’re ready to tackle any HVAC challenges that come your way. Whether you need installation, repair, or maintenance, give us a call today and let our team of experts work to bring you the comfort you’ve been looking for