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6 Tasks to Improve Your Maumelle, AR, AC Efficiency

The heat and humidity are settling in around Maumelle, AR, increasing the need for your air conditioner. Complete these six tasks to improve your AC efficiency all summer long.

Clear Area Around Outside Unit

Start by working around the outside unit, called the condensing unit. To effectively run, this unit must pull air through to absorb heat from the refrigerant. Anything too close to the unit will restrict the airflow, inhibiting the heat transfer.

Keep at least 24 inches clear above and around the unit. You’ll achieve better efficiency if you can increase that clearance to 24 – 36 inches or more.

Failure to keep the area clear will strain your system’s compressor and the condensing fan motor. This additional strain leads to AC repairs you could prevent simply by keeping the unit clear of debris.

Replace Air Filter

Your air filter plays a critical role in your HVAC system, removing airborne contaminants before they can clog the system. These filters slowly become clogged, requiring periodic replacements to keep your air conditioner cooling your home efficiently.

How often you replace filters depends on the filter size, filter type and your air quality. Generally, filters need replacement anywhere from every 30 to 90 days. Check your filter monthly to get an idea of how quickly it clogs in your home.

Check Your Vents

Your system depends on moving air around your home to cool it efficiently and evenly. It moves the air by creating high pressure at your supply vents and low pressure at your cool air returns. Anything that inhibits that airflow will reduce the system’s efficiency and create hot areas throughout your home.

Start by checking the vents in each of your rooms and ensuring they are open. Next, check to make sure that each vent has enough clearance to allow air to flow properly. Minimally, each vent requires at least 2 inches above and around it.

While there, clean the dust from around the vent plate, preventing it from falling into the ducts. Neglecting cleaning increases the contaminants in your ducts, restricting the air from within the system.

Check Your Thermostat

Your thermostat is the brain of your system, so make sure it’s set properly and that it’s accurate. Start by changing your programs from the winter to summer settings, including times you need the system to adjust.

Be sure that you’re using the programs to reduce the system’s strain when you’re not at home. The Department of Energy estimates you can save about 10% of your annual cooling costs using programs. You simply need to increase the temperature by 7-10 degrees for about 8 hours every day.

Next, check that your thermostat is registering the correct temperature. The technology used by thermostats wears out over time, making it register improper temperatures. If your thermostat isn’t reading accurately, consider replacing it with a newer, smart thermostat.

Inspect Your Insulation

Your insulation plays an incredibly important role, keeping the heat outside. However, leaks in your roof through the spring storms can wreak havoc on your insulation, reducing its effectiveness.

Check that you still have the proper amount of insulation and that it’s not damaged from water or rodents. You’ll need at least the following insulation thickness to achieve the proper R-rating:

  • Rolled fiberglass insulation: 8.25 inches
  • Blown-in fiberglass: 12.4 inches
  • Blown-in cellulose: 9.3 inches

6. Schedule HVAC Maintenance

The single best thing you can do to maintain your system’s efficiency is schedule professional maintenance, preferably once in spring and once in the fall. Your technician will perform a deep cleaning of your system and tighten hardware and connections

They’ll also test the system and its components, including the amount of refrigerant in the system. The goal behind all the work is to prevent airflow restrictions and excessive strain from sub-optimal component performance and improve AC efficiency.

The spring is the perfect time to ensure your air conditioner is ready for the summer, but it’s never too late for maintenance. Call to schedule your HVAC maintenance with the expert technicians at Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling today.

Image provided by iStock

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