Although your air conditioning system may be cooling your Castro Valley home and keeping you comfortable, it may be doing so inefficiently and at the expense of your cooling costs. Cooling takes a significant portion of your energy bills. For that reason, you should ensure your air conditioner is working as efficiently as possible.
Here are some tips to help you know if your A/C is running efficiently.
Inspect the Air Filter
A dirty air filter will make your air conditioner run inefficiently, increasing your energy bills. Experts recommend replacing the filter every three months. However, your filter gets dirtier faster in the summer as your HVAC system sends more air through it.
Inspect your filter regularly. If it’s dirty, replace it. Don’t wait for the three months to elapse, as that would mean wasting energy and money on higher cooling bills.
Measure Temperature Differential
There’s a simple test you can perform to determine if your air conditioner is cooling your home efficiently. You’ll only need an accurate thermometer. Make sure your air conditioner has a clean filter in place and has been running for at least 20 minutes before performing this test.
- When the outdoor temperature is 80 degrees F or above, set your thermostat at a temperature that’s significantly lower than room temperature. Give your cooling system enough time to reach that temperature.
- Place the thermometer in one of your air conditioner’s supply air ducts. After 10 minutes, note the temperature reading.
- Use the thermometer to measure the temperature inside your A/C unit’s return air duct as well.
- Subtract the first temperature reading from the second reading.
If the difference you get is less than 14 degrees, your air conditioner could be low on refrigerant, or it could be having leaks. You’ll need to call in a qualified contractor to check the unit.
Inspect House Insulation
With inadequate insulation in your ceiling and walls, outdoor heat will enter into your home while cool indoor air escapes. This will make your A/C work harder, resulting in wasted energy and higher utility bills. Have a certified professional check your home’s insulation.
Running your air conditioner isn’t the only way you can cool your home. Your windows can take some of the pressure off your A/C. Several hours of sunlight through your windows can raise your home’s indoor temperature. As a result, your air conditioner will have to work harder to compensate for the sun’s heat.
To enhance your cooling system’s efficiency, check your windows and find out which ones get a lot of direct sunlight. Install shades and blinds on such windows. Keep the shades and blinds closed during the day to prevent heat gain.
To learn more about how you can keep your Bay Area’s home air conditioning system working efficiently, please contact us at B.A. Morrison.
We’ve been offering a wide selection of high-quality HVAC products as well as installation, repair, and maintenance services to Castro Valley and East Bay Area homeowners since 1990.
We also educate our customers on home comfort issues. So if you need information on any HVAC topics, get all the help you need by sending us an email or by calling us at 510-538-9817.