Improving HVAC Efficiency
While your air conditioning system may be running smoothly and keeping your home nice and comfortable, is it also running efficiently? Efficiency is a measure we like to watch in the HVAC industry because it signals whether or not you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Simply put, an efficient system is one that uses the least amount of energy to create the most amount of comfort. Every year, as technology advances, AC units become more efficient.
But it’s not just about the unit itself. There are many ways to improve your HVAC efficiency to ensure you aren’t wasting money or losing out on comfort.
When you have a central air system, ductwork is the key to getting that sought-after cool air to every part of your house. However, if not installed or maintained properly, air leaks can reduce the efficiency of your entire system.
If there are any holes, cracks, or breaks in your ducts, air will surely leak out. ENERGY STAR estimates that 20 to 30 percent of air lost is due to inefficient ductwork. This means less air will get to your bedroom or living room because some was lost in the duct. (And there are no refunds for air lost in your ducts.)
If you’ve noticed that your AC is producing cold air but your home still doesn’t feel like a comfortable temperature, it may be because of issues in your ducts.
Similar to ductwork, poor insulation can lead to air leaks both in and out of your home. The cool air you produce can leak outside, and warm air can leak in. Insulation is a great tool for homes to improve comfort efficiency.
If you have an older home, it probably wasn’t built with efficiency in mind, especially compared to newer homes. Adding insulation can save you a lot of money over the years by keeping a consistent temperature for longer.
Another insulation task is sealing up any leaks throughout your home, especially around doors and windows. These spots are rife with opportunities for air to escape. Try sealing any cracks, fixing any misshapen windows or doors, and adding weatherstripping to ensure a tight seal.
Upgrading your system is a great way to improve efficiency. Air conditioners made just five, ten, or fifteen years ago are much less efficient than the ones being made today. If the time has come to replace your system, aim for one that prioritizes efficiency.
Air conditioners use a metric called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio to judge how efficient a system may be. The SEER rating measures the energy used to create a certain amount of cool air. So the less energy used while maintaining the same level of cooling power indicates a more efficient system. Consult with your local HVAC expert to see which SEER ratings are ideal for your home.
Maintenance is also key for efficiency. This is both maintenance performed by you and your local HVAC technician. For your part, make sure to keep your system clean and remember to change your filters. A dirty filter can hinder airflow, making your system work harder and cost you more money in energy.
Have a yearly inspection on your system to allow for any issues to be brought to light before they get worse. During a tune-up, a technician will review every aspect of your system and spot any vulnerabilities. This allows your system to run at peak performance and not waste energy when it’s cooling your home.
HVAC Efficiency Experts
At R. Brooks Mechanical, we’re not only dedicated to keeping you comfortable but also helping you go green at home. Contact us today at (855) 912-6489 for more information on our energy efficiency initiatives and how we can improve efficiency in your home.