How to Get the Most Out of Your AC System

a repair technician repairing an AC

Getting the Most Out of Your AC System

Florida summers are no joke. In our sub-tropical climate, air conditioning isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. As a result, air conditioning is the highest monthly utility cost for most Florida homeowners. If you’re hoping to lower your energy bills without sacrificing home comfort, follow these 14 tips to get the most out of your AC system.

  1. Tidy up around the outdoor condensing unit: At the start of the cooling season, inspect the outdoor portion of your split AC system. Gently hose it down to remove dust, cobwebs, and grass clippings. Also, straighten any bent fins you find with a butter knife. Then, keep an eye on the condensing unit throughout the summer. Repeat the above steps as needed and keep surrounding vegetation trimmed back at least 12 inches.
  2. Change the air filter: The filter traps airborne particles and gets dirty the longer you use it. To prevent restricting airflow, check the filter once a month and change it before it gets clogged.
  3. Ensure your air vents are clean and unobstructed: Another way to improve airflow is to vacuum your return and supply registers. Also, make sure at least 80% of your home’s vents are open to maintain proper system balance and adjust any rugs, curtains, or furniture that are blocking your vents.
  4. Check the condensate pan: The condensate pan collects and drains excess moisture. If the drain becomes clogged, the pan could fill and cause your AC to shut off. Check this component often throughout the summer and apply algaecide treatment as needed to clear the drain line.
  5. Raise the temperature when you’re away: There’s no need to cool a vacant house, so increase the temperature to 85 degrees while you’re at work, and the kids are at school all day. With a programmable thermostat, you can schedule the temperature to resume a comfortable setting before you arrive home.
  6. Turn on a fan: Try raising the temperature a few degrees higher than usual while running the ceiling fan. You’ll find that the wind chill effect makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler while also reducing the load on your air conditioner.
  7. Close the curtains: Solar heat gain makes your air conditioner work harder than necessary, so cover your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. Plant shade trees on these sides of your home, if possible, to block even more of the sun’s rays.
  8. Shade your outdoor condensing unit: Sitting in direct sunlight can drastically reduce your air conditioner’s cooling power and energy efficiency. If you can, hide the outdoor unit behind foliage or a shade screen. Just be sure your addition doesn’t impede airflow.
  9. Avoid heat-generating activities in the afternoon: Wait until the early morning or late evening hours to use the oven, stove top, dryer, or dishwasher. This way, you don’t overtax your AC system at the hottest time of day.
  10. Turn off unused electronics: They may not generate as much heat as an oven or dryer, but TVs and computers give off heat anytime they’re turned on. Your air conditioner must counteract this heat to keep your home comfortable, so make an effort to turn off electronics when you’re done using them.
  11. Seal air leaks: Hot, humid air leaking in from outside only makes your AC system work harder. Improve efficiency and comfort by finding and sealing air leaks. Windows and doors are easy to target. Simply apply caulk and weatherstripping to help keep the cold air inside.
  12. Seal and insulate your ductwork: Does the air flowing from your vents feel warmer the further you get from the AC blower? This could mean your ductwork is leaky and uninsulated. Address this problem by hiring an HVAC contractor to seal and insulate the air ducts.
  13. Boost attic insulation: Hot air seeping in from the attic can make it difficult to keep the upper floor of your home comfortable. Adding more insulation is an effective way to combat this.
  14. Schedule AC system maintenance: Keep your air conditioner running smoothly all summer long with the low, predictable cost of preventive maintenance. This service improves AC efficiency, lowers the risk of unexpected breakdowns, and can add years to your air conditioner’s service life.

Schedule AC System Service in Orlando, FL

Whether your air conditioner is acting up or you want to prevent problems before they start, turn to Certified Climate Control. Our technicians have years of experience maintaining and repairing air conditioners and other HVAC systems. You know you can trust us for a job well done because we retain an A+ rating with the BBB and have earned the Super Service Award nine years in a row. Contact us today to schedule air conditioning services in Orlando, FL.