When an Ocala, Florida, homeowner can’t afford to replace a struggling air conditioner, they may look for alternatives to help boost its efficiency. If you’ve found yourself in this position, here are a few simple tips for improving your AC’s performance and prolonging its life until you’re ready to upgrade.
Unblock and Vacuum Vents
Boosting your air conditioner’s efficiency could be as easy as keeping the vents free of debris. Walk around the home and take stock of your AC vents. They will be located either in the floor or ceiling. What size air filter do they require, if any? Are the vents dirty with dust and pet hair? When was the last time you vacuumed the vents?
Removing any debris from indoor air supply vents is crucial to maintaining a steady airflow throughout the system. Even if you vacuum and dust regularly, your vents could still be blocked by furniture, toys, rugs, or blinds. Make sure each vent is clear, even if it means rearranging your living room furniture.
Keep Heat-Producing Appliances Away From the Thermostat
Your thermostat’s location plays a major role in how efficiently your AC runs. When your thermostat is located in an unusually hot spot of the home, such as near an appliance, a lamp, or even a sunny window, it can’t properly gauge your home’s temperature.
Certified HVAC technicians know this and therefore won’t install a thermostat in a heat-prone area, but if your system is older and positioned in a bad spot, it’s probably worth the effort to fix the problem. That’s because a thermostat in this type of location thinks the home requires more cooling than it actually does, resulting in increased utility bills and a system that works harder than it needs to.
Cover the Windows
Drawing the curtains and closing the blinds during the heat of the day is a smart move when you’re trying to boost your AC’s efficiency. When you cover the windows, you help reduce the amount of heat entering the home, which keeps the system from working overtime.
Close all curtains and blinds when you leave for work in the morning to ensure the home remains cool throughout the day. You can then open them when you get home and enjoy the late-afternoon sun without sacrificing your indoor comfort.
Increase the Thermostat
During the summer months, increasing your thermostat’s temperature by a few degrees helps save energy and keeps your air conditioner from working too hard. While you may not think you can tolerate a 5-degree difference, increasing the temperature by a single degree every day or two can help the family acclimate to the new setting.
Another option is to invest in a programmable thermostat, which allows your AC to run according to your daily schedule. Program the thermostat to increase the temperature by 5 to 8 degrees while you’re away from home. The program allows you to set the AC to cool down just before you return home. It’s a hands-off approach that makes sense when you’re trying to prolong your AC’s life and maintain efficiency.
Insulate Exposed Ductwork
Exposed ductwork that runs through an unconditioned space is prone to air leakage. You will find these types of ducts in your attic, but addressing the problem requires a professional. Have an HVAC technician inspect your exposed ductwork for any signs of leaks. Once the leaks are properly sealed, you can then have the ductwork insulated using professional-grade insulating material.
Clean Around the Outdoor Condenser
Your AC’s outdoor condenser unit is vital to its efficiency. That’s why you should take the time to inspect the unit during the summer for any tree limbs, leaves, or other debris. Make clearing around the unit part of your home maintenance routine.
While you will need to schedule an HVAC service to have a professional provide a more in-depth, interior cleaning, keeping the condenser free from debris is an easy, no-cost solution that takes minutes.
There are many things you can do to keep your AC running more efficiently, but some things are best left to the professionals. Call Senica Air Conditioning at 866-881-5935 to schedule your annual AC service.
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