According to a source on Energy.Gov, a dirty filter could increase your energy use by 5-15%. Dirty filters restrict airflow – making it harder for your system to work, decreasing comfort, causing stress on your system, and driving up energy costs. Unfortunately, many homeowners forget to do it.
Dirty coils make your system work harder and drive up your electric bill. You should clear away dirt and debris (fallen leaves, grass clippings, etc.) that have collected around the condenser unit. Trim foliage back at least 2 ft. to allow enough airflow around the unit.
Caution: If you use your hose to do the cleaning, do not spray it directly at the condenser coils as this may drive debris deeper inside. Instead, angle the nozzle, so it sprays perpendicular to the side of the coil.
Along with cooling your home, your air conditioner lowers humidity.
Your system has a drain line to discard moisture removed from the air and, just like any drain in your home, it can become clogged.
This creates a place for mold and bacteria to grow, which could overflow and cause damage to your system and surrounding areas. The solution is to keep your condensate drain clear.
Your system needs proper airflow to prevent PRESSURE PROBLEMS and to operate efficiently.
Windows can be one of the largest contributors to your heat gain (unless you have windows designed to reduce solar heat gain, that is).
Consider shading windows that face east and west on hot days. You can accomplish this with landscaping, screens, or window treatments.
Use ceiling fans to move air around on those really hot days when your A/C system is struggling to help keep you comfortable (or when you are doing activities like cooking a big meal that is contributing extra heat into your home).
Although fans don’t actually cool the air – they help you feel cooler. However, turn off fans that are in empty rooms as this just wastes energy.
If your ducts are outside of the conditioned space in your home, check to see if anything has come loose. Fixing a supply duct that’s sending all its cool air to the attic or crawl space can have an immediate impact on your comfort. This problem is more common than you may think.
Caulk your windows, and weather-strip your doors. Also take a look in your attic, crawl space, or basement for potential leaks that need to be sealed.
The secret to keeping your system working longer is to keep it properly maintained (think about how important oil changes and tune-ups are for your car – it’s the same concept for your system). Improper maintenance is the #1 CAUSE of system breakdown and early system failure. Proper maintenance will increase your system’s efficiency, your comfort, decrease your energy usage, and, when done consistently, ADD YEARS to the life of your system. In fact, it is so important that most manufacturers of air conditioning systems require annual maintenance to keep warranties in force.
In general, if you keep your air conditioner maintained (with annual maintenance) a system should last about 15 years. However, if your system isn’t keeping you comfortable, your energy costs are skyrocketing, your systems keep breaking down (or you’re currently facing an expensive repair), or your system uses R22 Freon (which as of Jan. 1, 2020 production was banned and, as the supply diminishes we will continue to see an increase in cost) it may be time to consider a replacement.
Call Dale's Heating & Air, Inc. for a No Cost, No Obligation quote. We’ll do a thorough evaluation of your system, provide options, and make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.