Originally published in June 2016, updated May 2020.
When summer heat scorches in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, an air conditioned home is an inviting environment. Far less welcome are the higher energy bills that often accompany the warm-weather season. Optimizing the efficiency of your air conditioner lets you stay cool and comfortable at home while keeping more money in your pocket for fun in the sun.
Schedule AC Maintenance
Improving AC efficiency starts by ensuring that the equipment is in peak working condition. A single faulty part can force your cooling system to run longer to reach ideal temperatures. Regular AC maintenance offers additional money-saving benefits too, including a longer service life and fewer repairs.
Check the Air Filter
A dirty or clogged filter slows down air flow, which not only wastes energy but compromises your comfort and your home’s indoor air quality as well. Dirty filters also allow dust and dirt to accumulate on critical parts, which can lead to an emergency AC repair or premature system replacement.
It’s also important to check your condensate line. When the air conditioning is running, the condensate line carries the water produced through condensation and the refrigeration process, out of your home by way of this line. You can usually find it outside by your compressor. It is the white pvc pipe that should be dripping water when your AC is on. If water is not dripping, you may be able to clear the line using a thin wire brush. A shop vac can usually extract any biological build-up also.
Keep the Air Flowing
From the blower and ducts to the air outlets, your AC’s air distribution system is responsible for a substantial amount of your home’s energy consumption. These simple strategies can help minimize energy waste and maximize air flow:
- Vacuum the air registers, grilles or vents regularly to keep them dust-free.
- Make sure that furnishings and window treatments aren’t blocking air outlets.
- Increase AC efficiency by 20 percent or more by sealing drafty ductwork.
- Keep the area around the outdoor unit clear of vegetation, debris and dead leaves.
If your air conditioning equipment is more than 10 years old, investing in a new high efficiency system might be your smartest option when it comes to cutting operating expenses. At Martin Enterprises, we offer an array of cooling solutions engineered to save you money this summer. To learn more, check out our air conditioning services or give us a call.