Top Tips to Keep Your Air Conditioner Happy This Summer
Keep Your Air Conditioner Happy
As we head into the hottest part of the year, our thoughts naturally turn to how to keep our air conditioning systems at peak efficiency. Californian summers in particular can be brutally hot and dry, so keeping cool has to be your top priority.
Your air conditioning system is designed to last for around 15 years; after this age, not even the most talented service center can keep it running efficiently.
Older units are not energy efficient and often use environmentally unfriendly gasses. If your unit is past its sell-by date, call on a professional air conditioning company, such as yround.com, who will send expert technicians to assess your needs and recommend a new energy-efficient, environmentally friendly unit for your home.
If your air conditioning unit is still young, you can help keep it happy this summer with our top tips.
Cleanliness is your air-cons path to happiness this summer. Blocked or dirty filters and overgrown and grubby condenser coils will make keeping your home cool almost impossible and allow dust and pollen into the building.
The filters in the evaporator (the bit inside the house!) must be replaced if they are replaceable items. If they are reusable, which greatly benefits the environment, take them out and wash them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations in the user manual.
The condenser coils can be found in the outside unit. If these coils are dirty, they will have to work harder to cool the refrigeration liquid coming from inside the house. A thick coating of mud can act as an insulator and almost stop heat exchange.
They will, most likely, be hidden behind one of the vented panels of your condenser unit. Remove the panel, and using a soft brush and the hose pipe, ensure that the coils are clean of debris and dirt.
At this stage, also take the time to cut back any shrubbery that has grown around the condenser. You want to be sure that air can flow freely through the unit. The condenser relies on an excellent airflow to remove the heat from the refrigeration liquid that flows through the condenser coils.
If you are unsure what the condenser coil looks like, go back to the manufacturer’s user manual, as a diagram of the air conditioner’s components will be there.
Check the insulation around all the pipework. If the insulation is cracked and falling off, get it replaced. The insulation is there for a purpose, and if it’s not working effectively, it affects the efficiency of the air conditioner.
Your air conditioner will have a pipe that drains water removed from the air to the outside. Check that this pipe is clear and that the moisture can escape. If this pipe is blocked, you will find that the humidity in the air inside the house is not removed, or the air conditioner drips water inside.
While you are outside, how about planting a tree that will shade the condenser unit? Everything works better in the shade, and your condenser unit is no different. The cooler you can keep the air around the unit, the more efficient it will be, so plant a tree to stop the sun beating down on the wall and the condenser unit.
Now is the time to check on that thermostat. First off, is it working? Turn the air con on and make sure that it blows cool air. If not, then it’s time to get it replaced.
Also, suppose your thermostat is one of the older mercury bulb types. In that case, it is worth getting it replaced with a newer, more accurate digital model. You won’t be running the air con when it’s not necessary and wasting money on unnecessary energy usage.
A digital thermostat has the added benefit of being programmable. By programming the thermostat to fit your lifestyle, you will not be running the air-con all day in the same setting.
If you are out of the house at work for 10 hours a day, don’t try to keep the house cool. Program the thermostat to kick in an hour before you return to the house so it will be cool when you get home, but you haven’t paid to keep the sofa cool all day.
If you cannot program your thermostat, set it to 78°F and leave it there. Tape it down if need be so the family cannot move it! The Department of Energy recommends that the thermostat be set to 78°F, as this is the most energy-efficient setting while maintaining a comfortable temperature inside. This will help bring those sky-high energy bills down to earth.
Watch where you place your appliances in relation to your air conditioning units. Appliances like microwaves push out a lot of hot air, making it challenging for the thermostat to regulate the temperature inside the room.
Your refrigerator is another culprit. Remember that it uses the same principles as your air conditioner. The only difference is that it vents its hot air inside the house, so ensure that the refrigerator is not placed underneath your air conditioner.
Consider changing your habits as the summer heat builds up. Perhaps using your washer, dryer, and dishwasher during the hours of darkness when it is cooler as this will help reduce the load on your air conditioner.
Next in line is the house itself. You can do several things to help the air con keep everything cool inside.
Start by dealing with the windows. We’ve already spoken about shade and how it helps with cooling, so stopping the sun beating inside is a great place to start. Fit outside blinds or shutters. These will block out the sun and protect your furniture from fading and sun damage.
If you do not have blinds or shutters, think of lining your curtains with black-out material and keeping them closed when the sun is on that side of the house.
Make sure that your windows and doors seal properly. There is no point in your air-con running all day if you are losing the cool air through poorly fitting doors and windows.
This is equally important when cooler weather comes; you don’t want to lose heat through poorly weather-protected doors and windows.
Fans are also highly efficient at cooling the human body, and they are very efficient at circulating the cooled air throughout the room.
If you do not need the air conditioner’s cooling capacity, try turning on your fans and directing them at your face or over your body when in bed. The air passing over your body has a cooling effect, in a similar manner to the air passing over the condenser coils, and will make you feel cooler.
Global warming is a reality, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, energy usage for cooling has steadily risen over the past five decades. All indications are that it will continue to grow.
This means that this increase, coupled with steadily rising energy prices, means that the average homeowner is digging deeper and deeper into their pockets to cool their homes.
The only way to flatten this curve for your home is to take care of your air conditioner and ensure that it works as effectively as possible.
Follow our tips to ensure optimum cooling for your home throughout the summer.
Thank you for reading!