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What Can Cause AC Efficiency to Decline?

A new air conditioner is wonderful because it is working its best and cooling your home just the way you expect. In fact, all new air conditioners come with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). This rating tells you how much cooling power your air conditioner produces compared to the amount of energy it uses. 

But over time, the parts take on wear and tear and begin to work less efficiently and that SEER number decreases. It can happen so slowly that you may not notice the efficiency loss until it is significant. If you live in Layton and need air conditioning service, we can help. Keep in mind that you have some control over maintaining your AC’s efficiency. 

Not Planning Regular Maintenance

Have you ever heard the phrase, “If it’s not broken don’t fix it”? That doesn’t apply to AC units! Your AC unit can have damage and problems without you realizing it until it’s too late. Annual AC maintenance is a great way to invest in the life of your unit. An expert can help you make minor tweaks to improve efficiency that is lost over the course of a year. You can help improve energy use in the short term and also help your unit last longer, potentially saving you thousands on future repair bills or an early replacement.

Thermostat Use

The recommended setting for your thermostat in the summer is 78°F. Many people prefer to set the indoor temperature lower, but doing so can put a strain on the AC and also cost more on monthly energy bills. If you’re not comfortable with this temperature when you’re home, at least use the setting when you’re away.

Doing so helps your unit to keep your home at a reasonable temperature while you’re at work or out running errands. When you get home, you can easily cool your home a few degrees more. It’s important to keep your unit running when you’re away—even if you set the temperature higher. Turning the AC unit off completely can lead to very high temperatures that your unit struggles to cool again when it turns back on. 

Air Vents

You may be tempted to close off air vents in your home as you attempt to redirect airflow. But doing so can mean less efficiency. Your AC unit is still blowing air through the ductwork, and that air has nowhere to go once it reaches closed vents. The pressure buildup in your system from trapped air can lead to additional wear and tear. 

Ignoring Signs of Damage

If you notice loose ductwork and ignore it, you’re losing up to 30% of your cool airflow. It’s also easy to ignore an unusual sound you hear because you want to assume everything is OK. But ignoring problems like these can cost you more in the long run. Another example is thinking that the air coming out of your vents is too warm. 

You may feel tempted to turn the temperature down more. But if you’ve used the same settings and feel warm air, that’s a sign that something is wrong. Does AC maintenance cost money? Of course! But it’s an investment in the life of your unit and its overall efficiency. The investment can end up saving on your energy bills each month. 

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