The summer months in Pennsylvania are filled with hot and humid weather conditions. While it may be easier to handle the cooler temperatures in the northeast and west, the southeast portion of the state receives the warmest temperatures. The southeast portion of Pennsylvania may receive temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s throughout the warmest months of the year.
To ensure you are able to stay safe and comfortable, it’s important to invest in a central air conditioner along with continuous repairs, tune-ups, and maintenance. While an air conditioner is capable of making your home more pleasant, it may come at a high cost. To help you save money on your utility bills, we’ve summarized various ways to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner.
1.) Open & Clean Your Vents
An excellent way to enhance your air conditioner efficiency is to conduct regular inspections of the vents on the walls, floors, and ceilings in your home. First, check each supply and return vent to ensure it’s not covered with dirt, pet hair, or grime. These types of materials may be blocking the airflow in your home. This will cause the central air conditioner to work harder to provide cold air and maintain the internal temperature of your enclosure.
Since the system is required to provide additional energy to push cold air throughout your air ducts and vents, this will cause the total cost of your utility bills to increase. To remove excess dirt, remove the cover of each vent and use a vacuum to eliminate visible obstructions. If the vent covers are extremely dirty, you may also be required to use a sponge and soap to remove the contaminants. Additionally, insert the vacuum into the air duct to eliminate dirt and debris that is easy to reach.
In addition to cleaning your vents, another way to increase air conditioner efficiency is to keep each vent open. Closing the vents in your house may cause a large amount of excess air pressure to form that is capable of damaging the central air conditioner. While vacuuming your vent covers and air ducts are an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner, there may be dirt or foreign objects in your air ducts that aren’t reachable without special tools. To ensure your air ducts are fully sanitized, we recommend scheduling an air duct cleaning appointment with a professional.
2.) Clean the Air Conditioner Condenser Unit
An excellent way to boost the efficiency of your air conditioner is to keep the outdoor condenser unit clean. The condenser is the outdoor portion of your air conditioner that includes the condenser fan, compressor, and condenser coil. The air conditioner condenser is engineered to release the excess heat energy that is absorbed by the refrigerant in the system. To clean the condenser, follow the steps below:
Deactivate Power & Remove Excess Dirt From Condenser Fins
The first step to cleaning the condenser is to deactivate the power supply to the air conditioner at the outdoor deactivation panel. Next, use a vacuum to remove excess grass, dirt, grime, and leaves from the fins. Once the exterior of the condenser unit is clean, use a straightening tool from your local hardware store to readjust the exterior fins.
Remove Interior Fan & Remove Debris From the Interior of the Condenser
Next, use a screwdriver to remove the grille on top of the air conditioner condenser. Carefully pull the fan out without breaking the electric wires. Once the fan is removed from the condenser, use a couple of moist paper towels to remove dirt, leaves, or insects from the system.
Sanitize the Fins With a Hose
Use a water hose with a gentle water pressure to spray the air conditioner condenser fins from the inside out to remove excess dust, dirt, leaves, or cotton. Lastly, perform an inspection of the fan motor to confirm if it has lubrication ports. Carefully add a couple drops of motor oil on each port to ensure reliable and safe operation.
Cleaning the condenser unit is an excellent way to boost the efficiency of your air conditioner. If you need assistance cleaning your system, give our team a call by phone at (484) 474-5373 or schedule an appointment online. WM Henderson offers air conditioner tune-up, repair, and installation services to homes in Pennsylvania.
How a Central Air Conditioner Works
Prior to cleaning the condenser, it’s important to be familiar with how an air conditioning system operates to avoid causing damage to internal components. A central air conditioning system utilizes a supply of refrigerant to remove heat energy from the air in your home. The system uses a series of return ducts to collect the warm air from each room of the house. Once this hot air is collected, it is pushed through the refrigerant in the evaporator coils that are located in the indoor system. After the warm air is processed by the refrigerant, the remaining cold air is distributed to each room of the home through supply vents.
Next, the warm refrigerant is transferred from the indoor evaporator coils to the condenser unit outside. To increase the pressure of the warm refrigerant, it is processed by a compressor. The compressor is engineered to increase the temperature of the refrigerant before it is sent to the condensing coil. Once the hot refrigerant reaches the condensing coil, a fan that is located in the outdoor unit is activated to blow air near the coils. As the air flow reaches the condensing coil, the excess heat from the refrigerant is released. The remaining cold refrigerant will be transformed from a gas to a liquid prior to being pushed back to the evaporator system in your house. This process is repeated until the desired temperature is reached inside your home.
3.) Eliminate All Types of Air Leaks in Your House
As your home becomes older, moderate to severe leaks may begin to form near your windows or doors. While a couple of leaks are nothing to worry about, a large number of leaks will cause the cold air that is produced by your central air conditioner to be pushed outside your home. As a result, your air conditioner will be required to remain active for a longer period of time to make your home comfortable.
Perform an inspection of each window and door in your home to identify air leaks. To increase the air conditioner efficiency in your house, apply caulk and weatherstrip products to all affected areas. Eliminating an excess amount of air leaks in your house is an excellent way to reduce the total amount of time your air conditioner is required to run to eliminate heat and humidity.
4.) Replace Your Old Air Filter
An old air filter that is covered in dirt, dust, and grime will negatively impact the airflow in your home. A clogged air filter will make it harder for the central air conditioner to push cold and clean air throughout your home. As a result, the system will be required to remain activated for a longer period of time to keep your home cozy. To improve your air conditioner efficiency, we recommend checking your air filter every month to confirm if it’s contaminated.
5.) Close Your Curtains or Blinds
The majority of the heat energy produced by the sun is able to be blocked by closing the curtains and blinds in your home. Closing your blinds is able to eliminate ac efficiency issues by decreasing the total amount of cycles your air conditioner is required to fulfill each day to keep your home comfortable.
6.) Avoid Using Appliances in the Afternoon
The warmest time of the day in Pennsylvania is the afternoon hours following lunch. To avoid adding additional heat to your home, you should avoid using appliances such as ovens and dryers. The heat produced by these types of appliances will affect the efficiency of your air conditioner. To counteract the incoming heat, the air conditioning system will be required to maintain long and rapid cycles.
7.) Add Insulation to Your Air Ducts
Your air conditioner may be inefficient due to leaks in the air ducts of your house. If cold air is leaking from air ducts in your attic, your system will be required to activate and deactivate more often to maintain the temperature set on the thermostat. To decrease the cost of your utility bills and improve ac efficiency, you may need to hire a professional technician to fix leaks in your air ducts. In addition, a certified technician may also be able to help you add insulation to your ductwork to ensure cold air is not lost as it travels from the system to the rooms of your home.
8.) Install the Thermostat in a Proper Location
The location of your thermostat will directly impact the efficiency of your air conditioner. A thermostat should be installed in a central area of the house that is not impacted by heat from appliances or sunlight. Do not install a thermostat near appliances such as lamps, furnaces, television sets, or stereos. Since the thermostat will detect the heat from these appliances, it will cause the air conditioner to fulfill longer cooling cycles during the day.
Air Conditioner Repair & Installation Services
Whether you’re looking to enhance the efficiency of your air conditioner or perform a replacement, our team is able to resolve your issues. Give us a call by phone at (484) 474-5373 or book an appointment online to receive help. From malfunctioning furnaces, broken heat pumps, to ductless mini split installation, our team will help keep your home comfortable throughout the winter or summer.
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