It will soon be that time when your air conditioning unit will be running day and night. If you are concerned about the efficiency of your unit, then there are some simple steps that you can take to improve its effectiveness. Taking these measures will not only ensure that you stay comfortable in your home, but will also help to lower the cost of operating your unit.
Start by looking at the area where the central unit is located
Make sure that the area is clean of all debris. You should maintain a clearance of at least 24 inches on all sides. Even small items like bird feathers and leaves can make your unit work harder. Pay particular attention to the blades, if they are bent they will not work as efficiently. If there are tree limbs above the unit, make sure that you trim them to maintain the proper clearance. Make a mental note (or one on your cell phone) that you will need to check this regularly.
Now, look at the unit’s location and make sure that it is shaded. Trees work well for this purpose. If you do not have a tree to shade your unit, then add a tarp or other cover but make sure to keep it at least two feet away.
Moving to the interior of your home
If you have an attic, then ensure that it has adequate insulation. Hot air trapped here means your unit has to work harder. Many systems have ductwork in uninsulated attics which means that air must be cooled drastically before it can keep you comfortable in your home. The United States Department of Energy estimates a properly insulated and ventilated attic can save you up to 30 percent on your cooling bills. Ensuring that the attic is properly ventilated, so the hot air has somewhere to go can naturally lower the internal temperature of your home by up to 10 degrees.
Follow the ducts through your home ensuring that the insulation is in optimal condition on all of them. All ducts should be covered with at least an R-Value of 8 insulation. Also, make sure that your ducts properly connect and that you are not losing efficiency through gaps in the ducts.
If your system uses a filter, then make sure that it is clean. When purchasing new filters, check the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value of at least 11. Then, verify that the filter has at least 18 pleats per foot across the face of the filter.
Make sure that your air conditioning vents are open. The shutter-like covering often used, easily gets bumped close. In fact, you may want to buy vent shutter locks that ensure that they cannot accidentally get closed.
Have a professional examine your system once a year. Proper annual AC maintenance plans can ensure that your system is in top condition and is unlikely to break once the Florida temperatures start reaching over 90 degrees. The professionals at Autumn Air Conditioning can also assist you with tips that apply to your particular situation.