In the hottest parts of the summer, an inefficient HVAC system can run for much of the day. Older units tend to be less efficient than newer ones, but there are ways you can improve the performance of your air conditioning system.
Letting Vegetation Grow Around Outdoor Unit
You diligently mow your lawn every weekend, but how often do you inspect the landscaping around the outdoor AC unit? This unit is typically tucked out of sight, so it’s easy to neglect. You should make it a point to maintain the area around it with a pair of trimming shears and a trimmer or weed whacker.
Your outdoor condensing unit needs a certain amount of breathing room, so to speak. Weeds, shrubs, and yard debris around the appliance obstruct airflow, forcing the condenser coil to work harder. All that extra effort will be reflected in your energy bill. Additionally, vegetation can attract insects and rodents. These pests may make a nest near the unit, creeping into your home or gnawing on wires and causing damage to your system.
To prevent these issues, maintain at least three feet of clearance between your condensing unit and any surrounding vegetation.
Using Old Filters
When was the last time you changed the filter in your HVAC system? If you’re drawing a blank, it’s likely that your filter is long overdue for replacement. Dirty filters restrict airflow, which in turn causes your system to demand more electricity. Besides the spike in your energy costs, a dirty filter can also result in a frozen evaporator coil.
As a good rule of thumb, you should replace your filter at least every 90 days (sometimes sooner, depending on your filter size). During the high heat of summer, when your AC will be working overtime, we recommend replacing it every 30 days. Your team at Bob's Heating & Air Conditioning offers a range of different filters and air filter replacement programs to fit your needs.
Did you remember to schedule an HVAC tune-up this spring?
It's a good idea to have a professional service your air conditioner before you turn it on each year. A certified technician can check over the major components of your unit to see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced. Keeping the various parts of your AC running at peak efficiency is key to keeping your cooling bills in check. During routine maintenance, your tech will also check your coolant levels. If your coolant level is low, your unit has a leak and that needs to be fixed ASAP.
Running Your AC All Day
There is no need to keep an empty home cool. You can manually turn the thermostat to 78 or 80 degrees before you leave in the morning and then drop it to 75 degrees when you get home. As long as your unit is running efficiently, your home should cool relatively quickly.
You could also install a programmable thermostat that will perform this task automatically.
Keeping an Old Unit
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that upgrading to a new HVAC system will cut cooling costs by as much as 50%. The simple fact of the matter is that HVAC systems produced 20 years ago require much more power than today’s high-efficiency systems. By holding onto a unit well past its prime, you're likely to have higher repair bills along with higher energy bills. Checking with a professional can help you decide when it's time to opt for a new unit.
Got a Prob? Call Bob!
If you're looking to cut your cooling bill this summer, check with the professionals at Bob's Heating & Air Conditioning. We'd be more than happy to look at your HVAC system and make any recommendations that are needed. Whether you need simple maintenance or a new system, we'll put your needs first. Contact us online or give us a call today at (425) 689-7778 to schedule an appointment.