Let’s face it – lost air conditioner efficiency means wasted money plus a large amount of inconvenience. No one likes to waste money or time. The good news is that it’s easy to improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit and you can do many of the suggestions yourself. Here are five simple suggestions to help make your air conditioner more efficient.
1. Clean your air vents.
Although cleaning air vents is a simple task, it’s often a culprit in lost air conditioner efficiency. Using a vacuum cleaner to clean vents, especially floor vents, is an easy way to clean them out. You can do the same with ceiling vents if you have an extending attachment on your vacuum cleaner. You’ll also need a long-handled, stiff-bristled brush and don’t forget about a face mask so you don’t breathe in particles that may float through the air as you clean.
2. Make sure your outdoor compressor unit is clean.
Cleaning the outside compressor unit of your HVAC system requires a lot of patience. It’s a delicate system and can be tricky to clean. The best thing you can do is allow a good HVAC company to clean your compressor unit. However, if you’re convinced that you can do it yourself, this is a task that should be done at least once a year.
3. Don’t work against the cooling of your home.
Quite often, people unconsciously add heat to their homes while simultaneously trying to cool their homes. Examples of actions that do this are using your dryer, using your oven, and running a lot of electrical appliances at once. All of this causes your air conditioner to work even harder resulting in lost efficiency. Try running these things during the cooler times of the day.
4. Make sure your home is properly insulated.
You don’t want to cool your home only to let the cool air escape through doors and windows. Many older homes have no insulation or have shoddy insulation. Another culprit is the attic. Many attics often have air leaks and get overlooked. You’ll also want to make sure you limit sunlight coming into your home, so use mini-blinds or shades.
5. It may be time for upgrades.
If you have an older HVAC system, it may be time to upgrade or even get a new system. Upgrading your system, also known as retrofitting, is obviously the least expensive option. However, if your system is more than 10 years old, or you find that you need a lot of costly repairs, it may be better to simply replace the system.
Newer systems have higher SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings. This rating basically describes how efficient the air conditioner is. Many countries impose a minimum SEER rating. In the United States, the minimum rating for central HVAC systems made after 2005 is 13. However, new regulations will require systems made in 2023 and later to be rated at 14. With these new standards coming into play, it may make sense to replace rather than repair.