What affects cooling efficiency? It’s more than you may think.
With a severe heat wave moving over the Midwest, it’s more important than ever to keep the efficiency of your cooling equipment in mind – whether that is an air conditioner or heat pump. Cooling efficiency is important for not only comfort, but reducing how much you spend on cooling during the summer.
In order to really decrease the amount of money you spend on cooling during these extreme heat waves, it’s important that you understand the things that heavily affect cooling efficiency. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to maximize the efficiency of your cooling equipment.
Airflow. One of the key factors of efficiency is proper airflow. Make sure there is proper clearance around your air conditioner, your system is free from debris and there are no obstructions in your ductwork.
Upkeep. Like your car, your air conditioner needs frequent check-ups. Your air conditioner should be serviced once-per-year (ideally in the spring). If you’ve missed the boat, you can always have a contractor come out and look at your air conditioner at any point in time. Just remember, it is always better to head-off a problem instead of waiting for one to find you.
Air Leaks. Just like too little airflow can be a problem, too much can also be a problem. Make sure you weatherize your home before the cooling season, and make sure to keep windows and doors closed while your air conditioner is in operation.
Thermostat settings. Find the highest temperature you are comfortable with and stick with it. A few degrees isn’t going to kill comfort, but it can make a difference at the end of the month. Frequently changing the temperature of a non-programmable thermostat can also be an efficiency killer. If you want customized temperature settings, invest in a programmable thermostat model.
Think beyond the box outside. There is more to your central cooling system than just the box that sits outside. When you get your system checked, make sure you consider your thermostat, ductwork and indoor equipment (if you have a split system) as well.
Knowing when to replace. If it seems like your cooling bills keep rising year after year, it could be an indication that your system is nearing the ends of its lifespan. If you are having to make frequent repairs and your air conditioner is nearing the 12-year mark, it may be time to consider an efficient replacement.
Always doing your research. When it comes to selecting your equipment, choosing your contractor and running your system at ideal operating levels – research is key. Do you need an air conditioner or heat pump? Is a programmable thermostat the best model for your needs? Do your local contractors have a positive reputation? All of these are great questions to ask.
If it’s time to replace your old cooling system with something more efficient, make sure you get in touch with your local HVAC contractor. They can steer you in the right direction.
Has the hotter summer affected your summer plans? Make sure you stay safe during excessive heat conditioners!