Maximizing Air Conditioner Efficiency and When to Replace It

by Oct 16, 2023

It’s a hot summer day, and the comfort you find indoors is often courtesy of your trusty air conditioning system. But have you ever wondered how much energy it consumes? On average, your air conditioning system might be responsible for around 12% of your total yearly home energy costs. And here’s the real kicker – during those sweltering summer months, that number can skyrocket up to 70%! So, making sure your system runs efficiently isn’t just good for comfort—it’s also great for your pocket. Here’s what you should know about maximizing your AC efficiency and how to find air conditioning replacement service when you need it.


Signs to Watch for Inefficiencies with Your Air Conditioning System


Your air conditioner is like any other machine. Over time and with regular use, wear and tear can make it less efficient. But how do you know when it’s not performing at its best?


Ice on the Compressor


The sight of ice on your compressor can be startling, especially in the summer. This often indicates that there’s insufficient airflow, or the refrigerant levels are low. Both issues can prevent your system from cooling your home effectively. If you notice this icy problem, it’s time to get a professional in to check it out.


Higher Costs


If you’re suddenly paying more on your energy bills without a noticeable change in how often you use your air conditioner, this could be a sign of a system that’s not working efficiently. Old or damaged components, dust and debris, or an improperly sized unit can all lead to increased energy consumption.


Frequent Cycling


It’s normal for your air conditioner to cycle on and off throughout the day. However, if it’s happening more often than usual, it might be struggling to maintain a consistent temperature. Frequent cycling not only puts a strain on your system but also consumes more energy.


Sounds or Smells


Your air conditioning unit should be relatively quiet, with only the usual hum of machinery. If you start hearing grinding, squealing, or other unusual noises, something’s amiss. Similarly, unusual smells, especially a musty or burning scent, should be a cause for concern. Both sounds and smells can be early warning signs of bigger issues that are brewing, so don’t ignore them.


How to Increase the Efficiency of Your Air Conditioner


Close the Doors and Windows


It seems obvious, but many people forget this simple step. Keeping doors and windows closed while your air conditioner is running prevents cold air from escaping and hot air from entering, making it easier for your system to cool your home.


Keeping Heating Appliances Away from the Thermostat


Your thermostat senses the temperature of its immediate surroundings. If a lamp or another heat-producing appliance is nearby, it might cause the thermostat to read a higher temperature, causing the AC to run longer than necessary.


Fix Leaks Around the House


Drafty windows and doors can let out the cool air your system is producing. Ensure your home is sealed tight by repairing any leaks and using weatherstripping or caulk where needed.


Unblock and Clear Your Vents


Ensure that furniture, curtains, or other items aren’t blocking your vents. This allows for efficient airflow, helping the system work smoothly.


Clean the Area Around the Condenser Unit


Outside debris like leaves, grass, and dirt can hinder the performance of your condenser unit. Regularly clear the area around it to ensure it can pull in air efficiently.


Shade the Condenser Unit


Positioning a shade over the unit can prevent it from overheating and ensure it runs efficiently. However, ensure it doesn’t obstruct airflow.


Cover Windows


Sunlight streaming in can heat a room quickly. Use blinds or curtains during the hottest parts of the day to prevent unnecessary warming.


Increase Thermostat Temperature


Even a degree or two can make a difference in energy consumption. Consider setting it a little higher when you’re away or at night.


Change the Filters


Clogged filters restrict airflow. Regularly changing them (typically every 1-3 months) keeps your system efficient.


Clean the Drain Line


A blocked drain line can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. Clearing it regularly ensures smooth operation.


Insulate Exposed Ductwork


Well-insulated ducts prevent the cool air from warming up, ensuring efficient delivery to your rooms.


Don’t Use Registers to Control Temperature


Closing registers in unused rooms can actually make your AC work harder. Instead, keep them open to maintain balanced airflow.


Try a Zoning System


Zoning systems allow you to cool only specific areas of your home, increasing efficiency and reducing energy consumption.


Schedule Regular Maintenance


Regular check-ups catch potential issues before they become bigger problems, ensuring your system always runs optimally.


When All Else Fails, It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner


If you’ve tried everything and your air conditioner is still not efficient, it might be too old. Consider investing in a newer, energy-efficient model.


Contact Lawrence Heating and Air for Air Conditioning Replacement Service in Philadelphia, PA


When it’s time to replace your air conditioner, trust the experts. Lawrence Heating and Air has been serving the Philadelphia area for years, and we know how to get the job done right. With professional installation and top-notch service, you’ll be cooling down in no time. Contact us for air conditioning replacement service and to get a quote.