As temperatures outside begin to rise you may notice that your energy bill is rising as well. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioning uses around 6% of all the energy produced in the U.S. and costs homeowners $29 billion annually. One thing that can save homeowners money when it comes to cooling costs is an efficient air conditioning system.
Unfortunately, there are a few things that could be reducing the efficiency of your air conditioner and costing you more on your energy bills. Here are a few things to look out for.
Your Unit is Old
Have you ever thought about how old your air conditioner is? The answer to that question is no for most homeowners. Plenty of people think that as long as an air conditioner is still cooling the home there is no reason to replace it. While the lifespan of most air conditioners is around 15 to 20 years, some do keep running longer. However, these older models are often far less energy efficient than newer models.
If your air conditioner hasn’t been replaced in over 10 years, experts recommend looking into newer models. A new energy-efficient model can cool your home more effectively in addition to saving money on energy costs.
Your Unit Hasn’t Had Maintenance or Service
Another thing that can decrease the energy efficiency of your air conditioning unit is a lack of maintenance. Debris, dirt, dust and other particles can accumulate within an air conditioning system and lead to a decrease in efficiency.
If you have a regularly scheduled professional service of your system, it can reduce energy costs anywhere from 5-40%. Your system should be serviced once a year, and this service involves flushing the coils, checking for leaks, charging the system with refrigerant and making sure that there are no obstructions to cooling.
You can change the filters in your unit yourself. This is an easy maintenance step that can have an impact on energy costs. Filters should be checked at least once a month and changed whenever they become dirty.
Direct Sunlight on the Outdoor Unit
One thing that you may not know is that the heat from the sun can have an impact on your air conditioning unit's efficiency. Direct sunlight on your unit can make it more difficult for your system to cool your home effectively.
One simple solution to your sunlight problem is planting shade trees or other plants that cast a shadow on the unit can increase efficiency by 10%. A small awning or cover can also have the same effect.
Your Unit Is the Wrong Size for the Home
Another thing you may not know is that having the wrong size air conditioning system can have a major impact on energy efficiency. Air conditioners that are too small will run constantly, as they try to cool the entire house. This constant running can mean higher energy bills.
An air conditioner that's too big for the home will cool your home quickly, but it will also cycle on and off more often. This constant cycling can also lead to higher energy use.
An air conditioner that is properly sized for your home is going to be the most energy efficient option. If your air conditioner is too large or too small for your home, replacing it with a properly sized unit can increase efficiency and decrease energy costs.
An efficient air conditioner can keep energy bills down and keep your home cooler and more comfortable. There are a few things that can make your air conditioner less energy efficient. However, regular maintenance can keep your system running as efficiently as possible. Replacing your air conditioner with a more efficient model is also an option.
If you are interested in a more energy-efficient air conditioner, contact AC Heating and Cooling Service Inc., today.