Understanding Efficient AC Operations Tips | Save on Cost
Air conditioners have become indispensable to modern living, especially during sweltering summer months. But while they offer a cool refuge from the heat, they can also be energy hogs responsible for spiking electricity bills. So, how can homeowners keep their AC running efficiently without spending a fortune? Happy Hippo Heating & Cooling answers this question.
The ABCs of AC Maintenance for Peak Efficiency
Routine maintenance is the heartbeat of an efficiently running AC system. For example, regular cleaning or replacing filters can lower an air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15%. Dirty, clogged filters obstruct normal airflow and reduce efficiency by making the system work harder than it should. Choosing the right air filter can also help your AC work more efficiently.
Similarly, keeping the evaporator and condenser coils clean ensures the system operates optimally. A dirty coil can use up to 30% more energy while cooling less effectively.
Intelligent Usage: Timing and Temperature
Maintaining the right balance of temperature is crucial for AC efficiency. A general rule is to set the thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower the energy bill.
Some people believe setting the thermostat to a colder setting will cool the house faster, but that’s a myth. It doesn’t speed up cooling; it can result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expenditure.
Automate to Save: Thermostat Technology
Installing a programmable thermostat can help maintain an efficient temperature while you’re away or asleep. These devices can adjust to pre-set temperatures at various times of the day, eliminating the need for manual adjustments and ensuring that the AC is only working hard when needed.
According to some estimates, leaky ductwork can squander up to 30% of the air moving through the system. Sealing and insulating the ducts can improve efficiency substantially. Additionally, ensure vents are not obstructed by furniture or curtains, which will restrict airflow and decrease system efficiency.
If the AC unit is old and inefficient, no amount of maintenance or smart usage will make it as efficient as modern systems. Current air conditioners have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of up to 20, while older models might have a SEER rating of 10 or less. Upgrading to an energy-efficient model can result in considerable long-term savings.
Utilize Ceiling Fans to Assist in Cooling
Contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans don’t lower the room temperature. However, the airflow generated by a ceiling fan can make the room feel cooler, allowing you to set the thermostat at a higher temperature without sacrificing comfort. This means the air conditioner has to do less work, leading to energy savings. But remember, ceiling fans are effective only when people are in the room to feel the cooling effect, so make sure to turn them off when leaving the room.
Windows can be a significant source of heat during sunny days. Use shades, blinds, or drapes to block sunlight and prevent your air conditioner from working overtime. In addition, make sure to seal any gaps or leaks around doors and windows using weatherstripping or caulk. This prevents the cool air from escaping and hot air from entering, ensuring that your AC doesn’t have to work harder to maintain the desired indoor temperature.
While homeowners can carry out some maintenance tasks, others require the expertise of trained technicians. Timely professional maintenance can diagnose and address minor issues before they escalate into major problems requiring expensive repairs. Professionals can also calibrate the system for optimal performance, ensuring long-term efficiency.
The essence of keeping an AC running efficiently lies in a synergistic approach, combining regular maintenance with smart usage and equipment upgrades if necessary. This ensures a comfortable living environment and leads to significant savings in energy costs over the long run.
Happy Hippo Heating & Cooling offers specialized services for those needing professional guidance to help you get the most out of your AC system. Their certified technicians are experts at ensuring your AC operates at peak efficiency so you can enjoy a cool, comfortable home without a shocking electricity bill. Contact Happy Hippo Heating & Cooling today to schedule a maintenance appointment or discuss upgrading your AC system.