Most people do not give much thought to air cooling systems, except for wanting them to cool their home comfortably. The efficiency of your air conditioning, however, is something everyone should take some time to think about because it affects your energy use overall and your subsequent utility expenses.
There are many considerations that can factor into how well an AC system cools a home, and you may not know just how much these circumstances affect the efficiency of your cooling systems. Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has been providing expert cooling services to the Tucson area for many years, and we understand the various ways in which homeowners may be making mistakes with their AC systems. Here are eight of them:
1. Not Changing the Filters Regularly
Your AC system has one or more air filters that are used to keep dust and other small particulates in the air from going into the system. Air is drawn in through a vent covered with an air filter before being cooled and then blown through the ducts and released into the rooms by the vents.
The air filter prevents the contaminants in the indoor air from passing through this system by catching them in filtering fibers. Over time, the fibers in the filter become filled with dust and other particulates, and air has a harder and harder time moving through the filter.
This causes your AC system to work less efficiently and run at longer intervals for the same cooling effect. To keep your AC system from having to work harder than necessary, remember to change the air filters every two to three months.
2. Not Having a Maintenance Schedule
It is important to have an annual maintenance check performed on your AC system. This not only helps the system perform optimally by having certain filtration and other components cleaned and replaced, but it also allows the technicians to check for any minor issues that could turn into larger ones further down the road.
Some simple cleaning and maintenance checks you can do yourself, but having a professional AC technician conduct a thorough cleaning and examination once a year is the best way to ensure that your system is functioning at its best. Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing provides reliable maintenance for air conditioning systems in Tucson, and we can help keep your system running at its peak.
3. Not Installing a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a good asset in the effort to keep energy costs down. With a programmable thermostat, you can set different temperatures for different parts of the day, like having the temperature set a few degrees higher while you sleep and when you will be away for several hours a day.
This can save you energy and money every month. Many of these thermostats are so-called “smart” thermostats that can be set remotely from an application on your phone. Raising your thermostat temperature just a few degrees higher in the summer can result in substantial energy savings each month. This is money in your pocket.
4. Having Thermostats or Vents That Are Positioned Badly
It may be that your thermostat is not in a good position in the home. If it is set in an area that is naturally a bit warmer than other parts of the house, then it can cause the AC to power up before it actually needs to do so. If you have an older home, it may be that your vents are not placed optimally and may not blow the air evenly throughout the home.
These poor locations can cost you money and degrade your comfort levels. Our technicians at Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Tucson can examine the placement of your vents and the thermostat and suggest any needed changes.
5. Not Using Ceiling Fans Judiciously
Using ceiling fans is often touted as a way to help your AC by assisting in cooling your rooms. This is not actually true; ceiling fans cool people, not the air.
Because using a ceiling fan helps people feel cooler by stirring the air, however, then you can usually raise the thermostat a degree or two when people are sitting in rooms with the fans running. Be sure to not run the fans when there is no one in the rooms, though, as this in itself wastes energy.
6. Setting the Thermostat Lower Than Needed
You can save energy and money by setting the thermostat several degrees higher than your normal inclination. Most experts suggest a setting of 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer to save energy.
If you are going to be away for several hours, like when working out of the home, then a setting of 85 degrees is recommended. For every degree higher you set the thermostat, it is estimated that you can cut an average of 6% to 8% off your energy bill.
7. Having the Wrong Size AC System
Having the wrong size of AC system in your home or commercial property can cause your system to run inefficiently, leading to increased energy use. If the unit is too small, it will run longer and still not effectively cool the building. It will run constantly trying to reach the desired temperature, which can really cause your power bill to increase. If the system is too big for your home, it will run in short intervals and keep turning on and off. This frequent cycling can cause an increase in your power usage.
When the system is sized correctly, it will cool your home effectively without running up your energy costs. The temperature will be even and not too hot or too cold in alternating cycles.
8. Not Keeping the AC Coils Clean and Free of Debris
The coils on your AC system need to be clean and not blocked by debris in order to work efficiently. When the coils are coated with dust and dirt, they are insulated from the air and will not work as efficiently in the heat transfer process.
To reduce your energy usage, the coils should be cleaned once a year. Some estimates put the increased energy use at upwards of 30% for dirty and clogged coils. To prevent extreme buildup on your evaporator coils in the inside unit, be sure to change the air filter frequently.
To keep the condenser coils outside clean, make sure that they are free of debris in the unit and around the outer covering. Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can provide maintenance for your AC systems and keep your coils clean and working efficiently.
When it comes to your air conditioning, these are just some of the areas in which you can improve the overall performance of your particular cooling system. Any time you lessen the energy consumption of your air system, there is also a decrease in your energy expenses. For most homeowners, the cooling and heating systems are the largest consumers of energy in their residence.
Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Tucson has the team of experts who can work with you to optimize the cooling systems in your home. We also provide many other home services, including heating, plumbing, duct cleaning and ductless-system care. Call us today to learn more about all the ways we can help you achieve optimum home comfort.