A central air conditioner, depending on its age, can account for up to 50% of your summer electricity bill. There are some important things you need to be aware of to ensure your system is operating efficiently – including a video about air conditioner maintenances.
Here are some common reasons an AC unit might be wasting energy, working ineffectively, and what you can do to ensure your system is running properly this summer:
- Faulty duct work is one of the biggest energy wasters in a home. Air leakages in duct work wastes valuable cooled air and brings unwanted contaminants like moisture, mold, odors and allergens into your home.
- Air conditioners work by sucking heat out of the air, not by adding cold air to it. Your system absorbs heat from your home and dispenses that heat outside. To absorb heat, coils have to be cold and slime free. When contaminants mix with the wet air conditioning coil, it turns slimy. That slime is a great insulator, which means the AC can’t absorb the heat from your home.
- A condenser fan works with your air conditioner’s coils to expel air outdoors. A coil is like the radiator on your car, if the fan isn’t running at peak performance to push air across it, you’ll overheat, so make sure your fan isn’t broken or working improperly. Your energy bills will be unnecessarily high and your AC performance will be unacceptably low if your condenser isn’t working properly.
- How old is your unit? Even the best air conditioning units don’t last forever — and neither do their thermostats. The useful life expectancy of an AC unit is usually between seven and 10 years—depending on where you live, and the number of cooling hours you use.
- Did you change your furnace filter? If the filter is dirty the fan could have trouble pushing the cool air through causing your energy bills to go up.
Higher than normal energy bills in the summer and lower system performance are signs your air conditioner needs to be serviced by a professional.
Also keep an eye out for the following:
- Moldy odors or other smells
- A noisy air flow, or bumping noises when the blower starts up
- Streaks of what looks like “dirt” on air conditioning grills
- Recurrent power failures in your area (voltage issues can really affect AC units)
It’s important to protect your home’s air conditioning system, and yourself, from sudden, unexpected repair expenses.
So what does a Direct Energy technician do when they complete an AC maintenance?
It is quite easy for a trained, licensed technician to determine if corrective action is needed. Regular maintenance is also important. It will not only prolong the life of your unit, but help you keep your cool!