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4 Killers of Air Conditioning Efficiency

ac-moneyIn the pursuit to spend the least amount of money on their air conditioning systems, homeowners will do what they can to boost efficiency without spending any money. Unfortunately, that can lead them into some trouble.

Here are four of the biggest efficiency killers often committed by homeowners:

1. Neglecting Annual Maintenance

When an air conditioner arrives fresh out of the factory, it’s capable of operating at its full potential for efficiency. But after ever year of use, that efficiency will gradually drop—as much as 5% per year according to some estimates. Annual maintenance, however, will keep that efficiency high.

The mistake that many homeowners make is by assuming that the AC does not need maintenance, simply because it doesn’t display any symptoms of a repair problem. The truth is that the AC does not necessarily need to be “broken” in order to suffer from reduced efficiency.

Plus, maintenance is what keeps serious repair problems from occurring in the first place. Maintenance is a small investment that can prevent much costlier repair problems.

2. Not Getting Repairs at the First Sign of a Problem

Speaking of repairs—another efficiency killer is when a homeowner neglects to get repairs done at the earliest sign of an issue. As long as the problem persists, the system’s efficiency will greatly suffer.

That much might be obvious. What’s not so obvious though is that these instances will subtract from the system’s total lifespan. By neglecting an urgent repair need, it means other parts of the machine will have to endure more wear and tear. Even after the repair problem is fixed, the stress placed on the system can’t be undone, and that leads to reduced efficiency in the long-run.

3. Setting the Temperature Too Low

There’s a common misconception about how air conditioners operate. The mistake is in thinking that the AC will work harder and faster when the thermostat is set significantly lower than the outdoor temperature. This leads homeowners to believe that they can manipulate the thermostat to cool their home down faster.

For example, if they want to lower the temperature from 78°F to 72°F, they will set the thermostat to 65°F. Then, when the thermostat hits 72°F, they’ll adjust the temperature before it goes lower.

Unfortunately, this is based on a misunderstanding of how the air conditioner works. The AC will cool down the home at the same rate. There’s no benefit to this. Instead, it simply invites the risk of allowing the AC to run below the intended temperature, thus putting the system under unnecessary strain.

4. Forgetting to Change the Filter

One of the most common efficiency killers comes from forgetting to change the air filter. In fact, many of the issues created by a clogged air filter can mimic a serious need for air conditioning repair in the Bronx.

Air filters need to be changed roughly once every three months, or else they can cause a host of problems that reduce efficiency:

  • Reduced airflow and uneven cooling.
  • Frozen evaporator coils.
  • Dust and dirt on the coils and blower fans.

To learn more about proper care for air conditioning systems, contact Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators.

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