When it comes to the operation of your home, AC unit efficiency is often at the top of the list of concerns. In South Florida, home AC is more a necessity than a luxury. Thus, it is important to strike a balance between personal comfort and burdensome utility bills.
More than 40 years after the Arab oil embargo and mile-long lines at the gas station, efficiency remains a buzzword of American life. New automobiles and air-conditioners are designed to much higher efficiency standards than they were several decades ago. We will chat about AC unit replacement in Jupiter in our next blog. Today, let’s focus on what can be done with your existing AC unit to keep the cost down this summer.
Think Performance vs. Efficiency
Because efficiency comes with the AC unit from the manufacturer, what remains for the homeowner to do? When we think about it, what most of us really want is to optimize cost, comfort, and convenience. When we think about these “Three C’s” there are many things that you and I can do to achieve a balance between the three – what we might call, “performance.”
While we cannot change the efficiency of our air conditioner, there are many things we can do to accomplish better performance. Let’s look at a few of these:
Proven Things You Can Do
Remember, 2/3 of our performance equation is cost and convenience. Here are some steps you, the homeowner, can do conveniently at minimal cost to attain peak performance from your home AC unit:
Scheduled Maintenance and Inspection
Though not glamorous, a professional inspection is the simplest and most effective way to attain and maintain peak performance. A leaky duct will easily raise your utility bill by 30%. Clogged filters, dirty coils, and improper Freon charge adversely affect cooling performance. Loose connections and worn parts contribute to avoidable but costly repairs. All these effects are subtle, but together they can cause utility bills to skyrocket and severely compromise comfort.
Each of these concerns will be addressed by the AC professional who inspects your home AC unit. As he or she considers the entire system, their objective is to optimize cost, comfort, and convenience. The Complete Comfort service professional can truly help get the best performance from your home air conditioner unit.
Change Your Filter
Your AC unit cannot work effectively or perform the way you want if it cannot breathe. It is a good habit to check your filter monthly. Even if it is not due for replacement, you might discover a drip, stain or noise that will head off a major problem. Soon, you will discover how often the filter in your AC unit should be changed – more frequently in the warmer summer months, and less in the cooler months. But always keep your filter clean: A clean filter helps ensure performance, guards your health, and protects your AC unit from costly damage that might lead to early AC unit replacement.
Use Free Cooling
As much as I love comfort conditioning, there are many days in South Florida when the AC unit can be turned off and the windows opened. I like to run the AC unit fan to circulate filtered air to all the rooms of the home. It is wise to take advantage of cooling and fresh air provided by nature – convenient, comfortable, and at no cost.
When our homes are kept closed tight, odors and indoor pollutants become concentrated. Use of free cooling from outdoors improves the performance equation as it flushes these from the home and provides a literal breath of fresh air.
Free cooling is the ultimate solution to the performance equation. But only for a few months of the year.
Programmable Thermostat: Set it and Forget it
With today’s digital thermostats, it is simple to maintain your home’s temperature within a fraction of a degree. Often, personal comfort requires different temperatures at different times of the day (morning, daytime, evening, and night time). A programmable thermostat is a great way to accomplish this. Thoughtful programming will prevent a home from being too warm or too cool for comfort. Every time you punch the button or turn the dial on the thermostat, it negatively affects system performance.
Most importantly, a programmable thermostat prevents leaving the air conditioner running while away at work, church or other scheduled activities. Programmable thermostats are an excellent investment because they improve comfort and pay for themselves through energy savings. And, the no-touch convenience makes them an important part of the AC unit performance.
Join Comfort Club
Everything we have discussed here is available to our Comfort Club members. We can help you balance comfort, cost, and convenience. Scheduled twice-annual inspections ensure your home air conditioner unit will operate reliably and at peak performance year-round. On those occasions when an unforeseen loss of cooling occurs, Comfort Club members receive discounts on service, repair, accessories, and air conditioning unit replacement. For more information, check out our website or call us today at (561) 531-5659.