Stay cool…the AC is on!
The summer weather may still be a bit unpredictable, but the temperatures are up and we’ve already had a few reminders of how it feels to be hot, humid, and sticky.
For some of us, that means heading for the ocean and diving into the cool waves. But we all have to go home sooner or later and then it means turning on the fans, drawing the shades, and doing our best to keep the hot stuff outside. Sometimes it means turning on the air conditioning and unwinding in some cool air.
But is that air conditioning working as well as it should?
There are simple maintenance steps that will help prolong your system’s life and ensure that it works as efficiently as possible for as long as possible.
Step one: Make sure the condenser (the big box-like unit outside) isn’t clogged up or obstructed in any way. Without a good airflow the condenser won’t work properly. That airflow can be impeded by leaves, mowing clippings, or the kids hanging their towels on it to dry! And, while you’re out there, see if you can get some shade over the condenser—shade can increase the system’s energy efficiency by as much as 10%.
Step two: Inspect the furnace (or air handler) filter. The filter is there to keep particles out of the heat-exchange pump and your home. Its job is to trap those particles but over time this means the filter gets clogged up and, like with the clogged condenser, airflow becomes restricted. A clogged filter can increase energy consumption by as much as 15%. So…inspect, clean, and if necessary replace the filter.
Step three: Find out when the evaporator coil was last checked. Ideally this should be done once a year and it should be cleaned every two or three years. If the coil is dirty you’re probably bringing unhealthy air into your home…you’re certainly using more energy than you should be.
Step four: raise the thermostat setting. Just one or two degrees can make a big difference to your energy use. The nearer the setting’s temperature is to the outside temperature, the less hard it has to work.
And remember, just because you have air conditioning you shouldn’t ignore all the other ideas. If you keep the shades drawn and the doors and windows closed your house will be naturally cooler and less humid and you won’t need your air conditioning so often—even better, when you do call on it, it won’t have to work so hard!
If you need some expert advice or a service call, don’t forget that as a Simply Green customer you have access to the skills and knowledge of the Lamprey Energy team. Call us today, 603.430.9919 and we’ll get you all cooled off!