Improving Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency
As summer months get closer, many people here in Phoenix start thinking about their home’s air conditioner. Will it be able to handle the job of keeping the house cool as the temperatures climb into the 100’s? Or, as we’ve seen in recent summers, the 120’s!
Of course, it’s critical that your air conditioning unit that can bear the load of cooling your home. However, as we often tell our clients, your air conditioning unit is just one part of your home’s temperature control. There are many additional things that you can do to keep your home cool and improve home and A/C efficiency. Here are a few things that you can do to keep your cooling bills low as summer progresses.
Strategic Shade Can Help Your Air Conditioner & Home Efficiency
Sometimes, the simplest techniques for keeping cool are easily overlooked. We all know the most intense source of discomfort in Arizona’s hot summer season is radiant heat from the punishing sun. This is why we all shade our car’s interior with windshield shades.
Like your car, you can shield your home and deflect direct summer rays with some strategic shading. This includes things that add curb appeal too, like planting shade trees around your home. Tall trees that shield your roof can greatly reduce the temperature in your home. However, you don’t need huge trees to gain the benefits of strategically located plants. Shrubs and greenery can also be beneficial, even when they don’t provide shade directly to your roof. Plants throughout your yard reduce the amount of reflected heat that quickly raises the temperature inside your home.
Smart shading can also come in the form of window shade screens and awnings around your windows. This is especially effective on the southern and western sides of your home, which receive the most intense summer sun.
Avoid Heating Your Home with Appliances
One of the easiest ways to keep your home cool is simply to avoid heating it up inadvertently. Many things in our homes, such as your clothes dryer or oven, add significant heat whenever they’re in use. Even small things like hair dryers and waffle irons can drive up heat gain in a building. Give your air conditioner and your wallet a break and avoid using these appliances during the hottest time of day.
Whenever possible, look for alternative methods for your daily cooking or drying functions. Try cooking a few meals a week on your barbecue grill, or putting up a clothesline in your yard or garage. Your reward will come at the end of the month when you open your utility bill and see the savings!
Evaluate Your Thermal Envelope
You’re best served by a good “barrier” between outside and inside air, especially when you switch on your air conditioning system. This barrier is what energy auditors refer to as the thermal envelope. Weaknesses in the thermal envelope will make your air conditioner work harder, less efficiently, and for longer periods of time. Often, the things compromising our home’s efficiency and insulation are surprising.
Would you like to discover the weak points specifically in your home? Call us today for a professional energy audit. Our certified BPI inspectors utilize specialized tools like manometers, pressure pans, blower doors, and infrared cameras to pinpoint inefficiencies in your home.
Checking for Duct Leakage and Replacing Filters Improves Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency
Part of a professional energy audit will include evaluating the ducts in your home’s ventilation system to detect leaks. The auditor is trained to spot design flaws that make it difficult for your unit to evenly distribute cooled air. That’s energy that you already paid for, so it’s important that it gets where it’s supposed to – inside, not outside!
According to the Department of Energy: Sealing duct leaks and increasing the R-Value of the insulation around your ductwork improves the efficiency of your air conditioning system up to 30%. Additionally, simply replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can improve your AC unit’s efficiency by 5-15%.
Call Magic Touch Mechanical for a Professional A/C Audit
Here at Magic Touch, we pride ourselves on providing premium services that optimize our clients’ comfort and savings. We never simply sell a new air conditioning unit, and then wash our hands of it. We thoroughly evaluate your home and your cooling needs in order to match you with the solution that will serve you best. Our end goal is to exceed your expectations and make sure you’re delighted with the results for years to come. Based in Mesa, we’ve served homes throughout the Valley of the Sun for over 20 years. Call us today for a professional home audit, new installation, or repairs on an existing unit.
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