A central air conditioner keeps your house cool and comfortable on even the hottest days. However, many homeowners are less than thrilled to see the energy bill that comes with using their air conditioning each month.
There are several ways you can keep any central air conditioner running efficiently. Here are three tips to improve air conditioning efficiency in your home.
1. Consider Your Thermostat Placement
HVAC thermostats estimate the temperature throughout your home by reading the temperature of the air directly around them. If your thermostat is installed in the wrong location, the ambient temperature around it may not accurately represent your home's cooling needs.
Thermostats should be installed on an interior wall of the house, several feet away from any doors or windows. They also shouldn't be near ovens, clothes dryers, or other heat-generating appliances.
2. Don't Let Cooled Air Escape
Any conditioned air that escapes your home is energy wasted. There are several ways air from your AC can be lost before it reaches the rooms in your home where it's needed.
Duct leaks are the most common culprit. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "In a typical house, however, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts." Professional duct sealing could be highly beneficial for reducing your monthly energy bill.
Drafts around windows and doors can also allow air to escape. You may be able to locate drafts by holding a candle or incense stick near your doors and windows and watching for the smoke to escape. Seal drafts with caulk and apply weatherstripping to your windows to hold air in and cool your home more efficiently.
3. Watch for Signs of Dirty Ductwork
Leaks aren't the only ductwork problem that can reduce your AC's energy efficiency. Dust and dirt in your ducts clog air filters, create blockages, and force your HVAC system to work harder and use more energy.
If your HVAC system is getting bogged down with dust, you may observe a few key symptoms in your house. Keep an eye out for dirty vent registers or poor airflow in certain rooms. You may also notice a musty odor from your vents when your AC or furnace is running. Hiring a duct cleaning contractor is the best way to ensure your ducts are clean enough to circulate air efficiently.
As you can see, installing a new central AC isn't the only way to improve air conditioning efficiency in your home. Take advantage of these tips if you're struggling to reduce your monthly cooling costs.