During the cooling season, people tend to take an interest in energy efficiency like never before. When it’s cold out, people instinctively shut the doors to keep heat in. During the hot months, however, it’s perfectly natural to want to leave doors and windows open, which means that your refrigerated air might be getting sent right out of your home or office because of someone letting it out, resulting in increased costs.
Aside from keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible—the former being particularly challenging for businesses—there are other ways that you can make your air conditioner more cost-effective and help it to perform better.
The importance of maintenance cannot be emphasized enough. Have a contract with a reliable, licensed HVAC contractor and have them check your equipment at least at the beginning of the heating and cooling seasons. This ensures that you’re not foiling yourself by running a dirty, ill-maintained system that will inevitably chew up your money.
The HVAC techs will run several checks to ensure that everything is in good working order. This includes cleaning off the evaporator unit and the cooling coils, seeing if the blower is working properly and checking the refrigerant level. All of these things make HVAC units run much better, and techs will usually want to do this right away.
Your air filter requires regular changing. The air filter, if it is dirty and clogged, will make your system work much harder than it has to. If you’re running your HVAC unit a great deal, having this done once per month is not at all unreasonable and might garner you significant savings in the process.
Checking the System
Your HVAC techs will want to take a look at your duct work. If it’s old and leaky, they’ll want to repair it so you’re not wasting energy. You can take a look at it, too, at least enough to let yourself know whether you need to call your HVAC contractor. If the airflow seems very feeble, it might be that there is a leak in the ductwork. These are often simple repairs and your HVAC contractor can sometimes get them done very quickly.
What About What You Can Do?
There are some things you can do to keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible. First, as the article mentioned at the outset, make sure you keep your space as closed off from the hot, outside air as possible. This ensures that you’re not wasting energy.
Second, consider getting ceiling fans installed. If you’re cooling, have the fan spinning in a counterclockwise direction. These simple fans can bring down your cooling bills considerably by circulating the air and making sure that you don’t have hot and cold spots in the room, but no comfortable spots in between. The counterclockwise direction keeps the cool air at the floor level flowing up.
You should also take a look at your insulation and the energy efficiency of your doors and windows. If you have a business where people come in from the outside all day, you’ll want to make sure that the doors seal tightly when they close. You’ll always lose some efficiency to people opening and closing the doors, but can do a lot to reduce that by improving how well they seal.
If your system is costing you a lot of money, have it checked by a qualified technician. The problem might be very simple to fix and might result in vastly improved performance. Sometimes something as inexpensive as swapping out a filter can do a lot to improve your heating and cooling.