Factors That Affect Air Conditioning Efficiency
High efficiency cooling means less wasted energy, which translates directly into monthly savings for you. Today, there are many ways to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning, ranging from small changes in the way you cool your home to making a commitment to purchase a high-efficiency unit when it’s time for total system replacement. Your air conditioning service has all the answers you need to start living a cooler, more comfortable, and high-efficiency lifestyle today.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This value measures the efficiency of an air conditioner when converting input energy into cooling performance. Today, the current minimum SEER value with which an air conditioner can be manufactured is 13; however, units are produced with values much higher than 13 as well, offering improved efficiency for every increase in rating. Air conditioning systems manufactured before January 23, 2006, may have lower SEER values, as current mandates were not in effect before this time. If you have an air conditioner that was installed before January of 2006, you could be paying 30% or more than you’d pay to operate a newer model. Talking to your air conditioning service about the SEER value of your air conditioner can be a significant factor in your decision to consider system replacement. Furthermore, when purchasing a new air conditioner for your home, consider a unit with the highest SEER value you can comfortably afford. Purchasing the highest-efficiency air conditioning system you can today will help you enjoy energy savings throughout its 10- to 15-year lifetime.
Temperature Set Point
The temperature set point programmed into your thermostat also has an effect on your air conditioning’s efficiency. Maintaining a large temperature differential between your home and the outdoor environment is hard on your air conditioner—thus, for every degree of difference between the outside temperature and the indoor temperature, your air conditioner must consume more energy. Keeping your home at 76-78 degrees strikes a good balance between comfort and efficiency. Avoid setting your thermostat lower than 76 for long periods of time, and never try to set the temperature very low just to cool your home faster. Setting your temperature too low will overtax your air conditioner, causing it to lose efficiency quickly and increasing the cost of home cooling. Setting the temperature lower while you are at home and raising it by one to two degrees when you leave allows your air conditioner a bit of respite for an efficiency boost without causing it to work much harder when you return home once more.
Your air ducts transport the air cooled by your air conditioning to the rest of your home. Thus, if your ducts are dirty, clogged, or in poor condition, your air conditioning can’t distribute air effectively and will lose efficiency. In addition to scheduling regular air conditioning maintenance, have your HVAC service check the status of your ducts once a year. Patching holes and cleaning out severe buildup is the best way to ensure your ducts perform their job properly, allowing you to get the most from your air conditioning and raising its overall cooling efficiency for improved circulation and temperature control.
Are you looking for ways to reduce home energy use and enjoy better performance from your AC unit? We invite you to contact us via our website to schedule a visit for air conditioning evaluation, maintenance, or repair. You can also learn more about boosting HVAC performance and energy efficiency on our online blog.