Studies have estimated that the average household spends roughly half of their energy costs every year on heating and cooling expenses. So as you might imagine, a system that isn’t running efficiently or struggles to keep up with demand may be costing you a fortune in extra energy. Summer is currently at its peak, which means your air conditioner has been working hard for a few months now to keep you cool and dry when the temperatures rise and the humidity increases. If you need to stay cool and turn on your air conditioner, proper system maintenance can go a long way to saving you money. When your system is efficient, it produces more cold air with the same amount of electricity, meaning it does not have to run as long to achieve the same result. Running less often not only preserves the life of your system but saves you money.
Here are a few things you can do to maintain your system and increase its efficiency.
If you find your system is really struggling or your electric bills are immensely high this summer, you might need maintenance worse than you think. Fortunately there are a few extremely easy things you can do on your own that will actually make a huge difference in terms of your energy consumption. First, check your air filter and change it if necessary. In fact, ENERGYSTAR® suggests that replacing your old, dirty filter with a new one can increase your efficiency by up to 15 percent! If you haven’t changed your filter within the last year, it almost certainly needs to be replaced—head to your local home improvement store and pick up a new filter for a few dollars and you should notice a dramatic increase in your air conditioner’s performance.
Second, your new filter will only stay in good condition for a small amount of time if the area around your air conditioning units is dirty. Clear all debris and vegetation to be at least two feet away from your outdoor unit to allow it to pull in the most air possible, and consider sweeping this area as well to remove as much dirt and dust as possible. Also vacuum up the dust around your indoor unit to prevent your brand new filter from quickly getting dirty and clogging up again.
Some parts of air conditioner maintenance should be done by a professional since they involve disassembling portions of your system and working with potentially sensitive and dangerous electrical components. We strongly advise calling and scheduling a check-up and maintenance service and letting one of our friendly and highly-trained technicians take care of this for you. A professional will check and maintain numerous aspects of your system during this service, but they’ll do two primary things to make sure your system is running smoothly. First, they’ll clear your air conditioner drain, which can waste nearly as much energy as a dirty air filter. Second, they’ll thoroughly clean critical components in both your indoor and outdoor units. Your indoor unit needs to have dust and debris removed from your evaporator coil in order to run more efficiently. Your outdoor unit needs to have debris and removed and the fan blades cleaned and straightened to allow as much heat and airflow transfer as possible.
There are a few other things you can do that will also help your air conditioner keep up with your demands while saving you money. A programmable or smart thermostat can help you save energy by only switching on when you need it to. Some popular modern units actually learn your habits and temperature preferences and will turn themselves on and off and adjust the temperature automatically so you never have to think about the temperature again. When it comes to setting your thermostat, going up just one degree for a period of eight hours can help you save about one percent on your annual cooling expenses. Consider turning up your air conditioner when you go to work to save money, and then turn it back down when you get home. In fact, many smart thermostats can do this for you!
It’s also a good idea to check your home for any potential air leaks, including checking your duct system. Over time, ducts can wear out and develop holes, or potentially be damaged by mice, rats, or other attic intruders. A large leak in your ducts will cause your entire home to suffer from a lack of cold air, even though your air conditioner is working hard.
If your air conditioner needs a tune-up and maintenance, call Curtis Total Service! Our Allentown HVAC service specialists have provided exceptional quality handiwork and friendly, trusted service since opening our doors in 1988. We proudly serve Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, and the surrounding areas in the Lehigh Valley!Call Curtis Total Service today by dialing (610) 709-6565 to receive an estimate or schedule a maintenance service appointment.