Cooling systems use a good deal of energy to run, and taking some time and investing in them will improve cooling efficiency measurably. Some of the elements that lower its energy demands are easy to do, while you’ll need a pro to do others.
What You Can Do
The condition of the air filter for your cooling system has an enormous impact on how well your air conditioner runs. By checking it monthly and changing it when it’s covered with dust, you’ll immediately improve your A/C’s performance. A system that runs with a dirty filter has reduced airflow, and that drives up the cost of cooling. It takes the unit longer to reach your home’s thermostat’s settings. It also adds wear to the parts and increases cooling costs.
Keep the outdoor condensing unit clean and unobstructed. If landscaping debris blocks the free flow of air into the unit, it will take longer for the refrigerant to lose its heat. If you notice dust on the condensing coil, use a mild spray with the hose to clean it off.
What the Pros Do
Annual maintenance will significantly improve cooling efficiency because HVAC technicians go through your entire system, bringing it back as closely as they can to its factory settings. They usually perform these tasks:
- Cleaning and adjusting all the electrical components.
- Checking the refrigerant level, sealing leaks and adding more if needed.
- Cleaning the indoor evaporator coil.
- Making sure the condensate drain is clear and cleaning the pan.
- Lubricating motors and checking belt tension.
- Measuring the airflow through the air handler.
- Checking ductwork for leaks and sealing them.
During the maintenance visit, your technician also can advise you on adding a programmable thermostat for your equipment. If you’re away on a regular basis, the thermostat can save you money. Each degree you raise the temperature saves energy dollars and takes a burden off your system.
For more insight about ways to improve cooling efficiency, please contact us at Griffith Energy Services, Inc. We’ve helped homeowners in the Baltimore area, along with Easton, Md., Dover, Del., and Martinsburg, W.Va., for more than 100 years.
Written by Kevin Spain