Dreading the high air conditioning bills Northwest Michigan summers often bring? By taking steps to run the A/C more efficiently this season, you can cut your bills and enjoy better performance from your system.
Many of these steps are basic air conditioner maintenance. A clean, well-maintained A/C uses at least 20 percent less electricity than a neglected one. Dust and grime buildup cause 90 percent of A/C failures, so maintaining your system will help you save on repairs, too.
Change the filter — A clean air filter will keep your system five to 15 percent more efficient than a dirty one. Take a look at your air filter once a month. If you see dust buildup, replace the filter. Low-efficiency filters need monthly replacement, while higher-efficiency models can last for several months.
Clean the outdoor coil — Clean components let you run the A/C more efficiently. Leaves, grass clippings, and other debris around your outdoor condenser coil impair airflow, lowering the coil’s efficiency. Periodically remove this debris with a soft brush. Once a year, rinse off accumulated dirt by removing the fan guard on top of the coil and running a gentle stream of water from a garden hose through the fins from the inside out.
Maintain the indoor coil — Just .042 inches of dust on your indoor evaporator coil can drop your air conditioner’s efficiency by 21 percent. It also impairs the system’s ability to cool and control humidity. Remove buildup using compressed air or a soft brush. A coil with caked-on debris may require chemical cleaning by a professional.
Seal your ductwork — Check the accessible parts of your ducts for unsealed duct joints, deteriorating seals and damage. Problems like these allow for air leaks that can raise your cooling bill by around 18 percent. Damaged ducts should be repaired or replaced and all duct joints sealed with mastic or metal-backed tape.
For more expert guidance on how to run the A/C more efficiently or for a professional annual maintenance tune-up, get in touch with us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing in Grand Traverse County and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/Cs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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