Summer has arrived in Tampa, at time when homeowners consider the cost of operating their air conditioning systems. You may have already gathered the family and had “the talk.” You know the one we mean — the pep talk that is a delicate balance between encouraging your children to enjoy their summer break and taking steps to keep the house cool and comfortable. We all want our children to play outdoors and have a few friends over for ice cream. What we want to avoid, though, are outrageous utility costs that are the result of leaving doors and windows open while the AC is running.
Reduce AC Costs in the Summer
So now that you have carefully explained the expectations to your children, you can focus on doing your part to save money on energy costs this summer. Yes, even the adults have responsibilities, and may be this is an important selling point to share with your children. Two ways that you can contribute to reducing AC costs this summer is by taking steps to:
- Maximize the efficiency of the AC unit
- Avoid repairs that can be prevented
Luckily, And Services offers one service that will meet both of these goals — professional air conditioning maintenance services.
AC System Maintenance and Efficiency
According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), air conditioning units that are not routinely maintained will steadily decline in performance. In order to keep your home cool, you will need to run the system longer, and this equates to higher energy use to maintain a constant indoor temperature. DOE recommends maintenance that focuses on three primary components of the AC unit:
Clean Filters Save Money
One of the best ways to keep your AC unit running efficiently is to replace the filters each year at a minimum. You may need to change filters more frequently if you have:
- Someone in your home who has allergies, asthma or other respiratory condition
- Someone in the home who smokes
- Pets, such as dogs and cats that produce dander or shed
Fins Affect Air Flow
Fins are the individual blades that you see on fans. In your AC unit, these fins can be damaged or bent. When the fins are not in tip-top shape, the air flow from the coils is disrupted or uneven. Your AC system needs to work longer to get the same amount of air through if the fins were not damaged.
Heat Exchange and Coils
Your AC unit has evaporator and condenser coils that allow for heat exchange. In the most basic terms, the process of heat exchange works by:
- Passing warm outdoor air over coils that are cooled with refrigerant
- When the warm air comes in contact with the cool surface of the coil, the heat from the air is released.
- As heat is released, the air cools down.
If the surface of the coils is dirty, the heat exchange process does not work efficiently, and your system has to run longer to cool the air inside your home.
Avoid Repairs with AC Maintenance
Like your automobile, your air conditioner needs routine maintenance to prevent damage to the system. Repairs not only cost you in labor and parts, but also in energy. On average you can expect to see a 5% reduction in efficiency each year that your AC unit is not maintained by a professional HVAC technician. Approximately 85% of our service calls are related to problems that can be avoided with our AC maintenance services, such as:
- Frozen evaporator coils
- Burned out motors
- Condensate drains that are clogged with debris and dirt
- Electrical problems
If a professional HVAC technician has not performed maintenance on your AC unit this summer, now is the time to contact us.