It’s getting into the sweltering days of summer in Haverhill. When it gets this hot, you don’t want to work any harder than you need to. The same goes for your home AC system.
It’s important to remember that energy efficiency can have a major impact on both your home comfort and your budget. Having an inefficiently running air conditioner can make it harder to cool off your home. It can also lead to more expensive energy bills or, worse, a broken-down air conditioner.
Getting your air conditioner running at peak performance for the summer isn’t hard either. The U.S. Department of Energy offers some ideas on keeping you, and your HVAC system, from overheating this year.
1. Change the air filter
Summer or winter, the easiest maintenance for your HVAC system is changing the air filter. From helping with proper ventilation to improving air quality, changing your air filter regularly is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get the most out of your air conditioner.
However, most people aren’t changing their filters frequently enough. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends changing your air filter once a month to keep your air conditioner running efficiently.
Finding where to look on your unit when replacing the air filter can be tricky. In central air systems, the filter is usually located behind a metal panel on the side of the system. Unscrew or pull off the metal panel, remove the old filter and install the new one. It’s as easy as that.
2. Pay attention to your thermostat
Programmable thermostats can automatically adjust your home’s temperature at different times during the day. That can translate into significant energy savings when your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard when it’s not needed.
For example, you can program your thermostat to keep your home at a higher temperature when you’re away and to cool it down before you return. This will not only save you money on energy costs, but also reduce the burden on your air conditioner that would otherwise be cooling an empty home.
3. Keep condensation lines clear
When your air conditioner unit runs, evaporator coils create moisture. This moisture is removed from the unit in a drainage area, either by gravity or a motorized pump. If the condensation pipes that carry this runoff away from your air conditioner become clogged, it can do more than make your air conditioner run inefficiently–it can damage your home. So it’s important to make sure that your condensation lines are flowing smoothly.
If you have a professional maintenance agreement for your air conditioner, a technician will come to your home to check the quality of your lines, as well as other maintenance. In between visits, you can easily clean condensation lines between visits by sending a simple mix of bleach and warm water through the pipes to help prevent buildup.
4. Clean debris from coils
Over the course of the year, your central air conditioning unit can collect dirt and debris outside, especially if you don’t use a cover. That buildup can lead to a sluggishly performing AC unit. Nearby shrubs, trees or other plants can also impact your unit if overgrown branches push into the air conditioner coils. Make sure to clear any plants growing too closely to your air conditioner and make sure that the coils are clean.
5. Make adjustments around the house
Not every tip for increased efficiency means working with your HVAC unit. Consider taking simple steps around your house to further reduce the strain on your air conditioning unit this summer:
- Turning off your cooling system and opening your windows while sleeping can help push out hot air. Shutting the windows and blinds in the morning helps capture the cool air.
- Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting a few degrees with no reduction in comfort. But make sure to turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room since fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
- When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
Keeping your home comfortable shouldn’t be a chore this summer. Following these tips can go a long way in maintaining a well-running air-conditioning system. But getting an inspection and ongoing maintenance from HVAC repair professionals like the team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone will make sure that your air conditioner is running in tip-top shape. Call us today at (978) 872-1190 to find out how we can help keep you cool.