How To Improve Your Air Conditioners Efficiency

by Dave The Handyman on November 22, 2009

Why would we want to improve our air conditioners energy efficiency? Well let’s see, it will save you money, and it will keep you cooler. Not only that you are helping out your planet by saving the amount of energy used to efficiently run your air conditioning. Before I get into how to make your HVAC system more energy efficient, I want to note that if you are buying a new central air conditioning system, you will want to pay attention to the SEER rating.

Seer stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, and the lowest you can buy new today is 13, and I believe it gets as high as 24.5 as of now, and will only continue to increase and get more efficient as time and technology moves on.

So if you want to make your home more energy efficient, there are several ways that you can do this, but for now I am going to go over several tips that will increase the efficiency of your central air conditioning system.

1. Get a Air Conditioning System That Is Energy Efficient

Like I stated above if you are getting a house built and you are getting an air conditioning system installed new, the lowest SEER that can be sold is 13, which is very energy efficient. You have to think that most window air conditioners have a SEER rating of about 10 or less. Depending on what state you live in, you may also be able to get a tax credit if you have a very high energy efficient air conditioning system.

2. Get Your Ducts Checked Out

Leaky air ducts let the cool air escape, which makes your air conditioning system work harder than it needs to. If you are feeling like a do it yourselfer you can check out your entire duct system yourself, but I would recommend that you hire a trusted professional with a good reputation.

3. Trees Around Your Home Can Do Wonders

Trees provide shade, and prevent some heat from entering your home. Remember heat always travels to the cooler place, you cannot stop it but you can slow it down. If your home is surrounded by big tall trees, it will help your air conditioning run less and more efficient.

4. New Windows/Blinds

New windows, blinds, curtains, can all help to slow down heat from entering inside of your home. Also making sure that there are no cracks or small inlets in your windows. If you can feel a breeze when you windows are shut from outside, you may need to get your windows checked out. Another way to save energy through your windows would be to tint them, just like on a car. It has the same effect, some may be bothered though because of the way it looks.

5. Weather Stripping Around Doors

Gotta keep the bugs out, and the warm air. If you have proper weather stripping around all of the doors that are leading to the outside then you will be helping keep the cool air inside greatly. If you can see sunlight from the inside, while looking at your front or back door while closed (assuming you are looking at the seal, doesn’t matter if you have a window in the door), then you need some weather stripping.

6. Run Fans

Running fans does not cost that much money and it will keep the circulation of air spreading through out the house more evenly. Ceiling fans will help keep the cool air close to the ground while if you are trying to heat the house, just reverse the fan and that will help. Counter clock wise for cooling, and clock wise for heating (correct me if I am wrong) when it comes to ceiling fans.

7. Having Proper Insulation on Your Suction and Discharge Lines

If you go outside while your air conditioning is running and you look at the big copper line coming off of the condensing unit, you may see that it is sweating. If these copper lines are covered with insulation then they will be saving some energy helping out the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, it is the little things that help.

8. Keep Your Air Filter Clean

There are many kinds of air filters that are out there, some are rated better than others. They all have one thing in common though, they protect your coils from getting clogged, and some even improve the air quality. The important thing is to keep them clean. Air filters should be changed out 1-3 months depending on how often you run your air conditioning system.

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