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5 Ways To Improve Your Air Conditioner Performance
Air conditioner (AC) units are must-haves, especially in the summer when temperatures rise to peak levels. According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, the Summer of 2021 was the hottest in US history, while many countries around the world deal with unbearable heat all year around.
Moreover, weather forecasts show that the 2022 summer will feature similar temperatures. Therefore, an AC unit is essential in keeping you safe from torrid summer weather, and if not taken care of could break down and need to be replaced.
However, ACs have the highest operational costs among home appliances. One report shows that homes with AC spend 35% to 42% more on electricity. Nonetheless, enhancing your air conditioner’s performance and energy efficiency is possible using the tips below.
Adhere to recommended AC maintenance
The US Department of Energy (DOE)offers maintenance guidelines to keep your AC unit working efficiently and lengthen its shelf life. According to the department’s guidelines, proper AC maintenance boils down to regular cleaning, servicing, and tune-ups.
Regular cleaning depends on your environment because some homes have a higher exposure to dust and pollen, meaning debris and grime collects faster on AC filters. Experts recommend cleaning your AC filter at least every fortnight when the AC is in constant use and every month or two during the cold season. Moreover, replace irreparably damaged filters.
Second, condensate pumps and their components also require regular cleaning and inspection. Unlike delicate AC components, DIY-cleaning a condensation pump with little technical knowledge is relatively safe. Disconnect the AC from the power source before removing the condensate pipe from the rest of the unit.
Open the pump’s reservoir, empty it, and scrum clean to remove debris and dirt buildup. Reconnect the pump’s drain lines and other components before returning the clean reservoir inside the condensate pump.
Alternatively, you can seek professional AC cleaning services and ensure the drain pump is working intermittently and has no leaks as On the other hand, proper air conditioner servicing includes having a qualified expert check its vital components to ensure they are working well. Such components include the condenser unit featuring a fan, compressor, coil, and the integrated condenser.
Your AC should undergo maintenance servicing each quarter, especially before summer, to enhance its efficiency and shelf life, and prevent damage escalation.
Ensure your walls have efficient insulation
According to one DOE fact sheet, poor or inadequate insulation and heat leakage are the leading energy wastage losses in most American homes. Wall and floor insulation material’s core function is limiting air movement to slow heat transfer. Therefore, a well-insulated house prevents heat loss in cold weather and overheating in hot weather.
However, the insulation material is not immune to deterioration and becomes less efficient with time. Moreover, poorly insulated ductwork can also cause air leakage, whereby cold air sips out, causing your AC to work harder to retain cool temperatures.
Therefore, inspect your house insulation and ductwork regularly to ensure it functions effectively. The DOE fact sheet above offers installation guidelines for different insulation materials to maximize energy efficiency for home heating appliances.
Moreover, closed doors and windows also help prevent cool air dissipation based on a similar principle to insulation. Therefore, keep your doors and windows closed during hot days; close window treatments if you are away from home.
Maintain DOE recommended temperature settings
The DOE recommends that residential occupants set their thermostats between 75 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer as the base temperature.
Moreover, it also recommends 68 degrees Fahrenheit as the base temperature for winter. Both temperature recommendations allow your AC to function efficiently and maintain comfortable temperatures through the seasons.
However, the recommended base temperature settings above only apply when house occupants are awake. Nonetheless, they serve as a temperature threshold to help you maintain AC efficiency.
Consider installing a smart thermostat
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems typically feature thermostats to modulate their temperature regulation function. Therefore, thermostats are the AC’s primary control and influence its efficiency levels significantly.
Although thermostats have a full-spectrum temperature setting, cranking the AC too high or too low creates a high-temperature difference. A higher temperature difference means your AC must work harder to achieve an equilibrium. Although you can set your manual thermostat to the recommended base temperatures, it is not flexible to accommodate factors like house occupancy.
Nonetheless, most HVAC systems currently feature smart thermostats with WiFi connectivity, versatile temperature setting options, and compatible apps for remote control. Moreover, some smart thermostats track your AC’s performance, override settings when necessary, and can automatically adjust temperature settings.
Such thermostats maintain recommended temperatures when you are at home and adjust them accordingly during the day, but restore base temperatures.
Therefore, a smart thermostat is a worthwhile investment that will help you enhance your HVAC system’s performance and energy efficiency. However, consider placing the thermostat centrally, away from heat-emitting appliances that can alter its function.
The DOE’s recommended temperature range may not be as comfortable for you. Consider using free-standing ceiling fans rather than cranking up the AC in such a case. Fans use electricity but have a substantially lower energy consumption rate than ACs, meaning complementing your AC with fans will increase its efficiency and performance.
Cumulative small gains from the minimal lifestyle adjustments above are the easiest, most cost-effective ways to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency. Moreover, your AC significantly lowers your energy bill when it functions optimally, so take the first step towards energy efficiency today.
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