An AC unit is generally durable and reliable equipment that we use in our homes. It is designed and engineered in a manner that it can weather and resist all kinds of punishment and abuse. It is considered as tough and great equipment in more ways than one. However, the level of performance that one can get is only as good as the kind of care and maintenance that we provide for our AC unit. Just like our car, the unit that we use in our homes will require periodic inspection, cleaning and tune-ups.
If we fail to observe the required care and maintenance schedule of our unit, this can easily translate to 5% decline in its overall performance and efficiency. This means that a 12-SEER AC unit that you have bought a couple of years back may be performing as a 9-SEER AC unit at present times. This means poor performance and increase in energy consumption. This is a double whammy and you need to take action to resolve the problem as this can even lead to serious problems and breakdowns later.
You can recover the efficiency that has been lost as a result of poor maintenance of the unit. As soon as you are able to perform regular maintenance on your unit, you can be able to achieve as high as 95% of its original efficiency. You can recover the cost of your annual maintenance and tune-up from the savings that you can generate once your unit operates at optimum level. This comes in the form of lower electric bill and reduced repair expenses. On top of these direct benefits, a well-maintained unit can effectively dehumidify the interior of your home.
There are quite a number of AC specialists who extend reduced rates at certain times of the year. There are those who provide their clients with annual job contracts to ensure that the periodic maintenance and care of your unit is strictly adhered to especially during the onset of the heating or cooling seasons.
The care and maintenance check typically include the cleaning of unit coils, checking of the compressor’s amp draw, checking and tightening of the belts, lubrication of the fan motors, inspection of the temperature and operating pressures as compared to the manufacturer’s specifications. It is also important to inspect the level of coolant. A mere drop to 10% of the coolant level will result to a 20% increase in the cost of operating the unit. Experts strongly suggest the coolant must be regularly checked at least once a year. If the coolant level of your unit is low, it is essential that you add to its content all the requirements and other legal issues that need to be resolved.
Air conditioning is a necessity for most homes and offices in the US. Computers, laptops and other electronic appliances we use in our homes and offices on a regular basis function best and enjoy longer life if they are used in temperature controlled environments. Temperature controlled environments increase the efficiency of employees in offices and also keep the office machinery and hardware working in optimum order. Humidity, dust, smoke, odor, heat, contaminants etc. in the air can cause serious illnesses. Efficient air conditioning and ventilation in your home or commercial space should get rid of smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, carbon dioxide etc. Additional electronic air filters and media air filters or UV germicidal air purifiers, can eradicate harmful disease producing pathogens like bacteria, virus and mold in seconds. UV light kills bacteria in ¼ of a second. Patented germicidal technology is incorporated into some filters to capture and eliminate the airborne bacteria, viruses and mold.
When installing an air conditioning unit you have to make sure that it bears the ENERGY STAR logo. The ENERGY STAR logo was developed by the EPA (Environment Protection Energy) to help a consumer choose the right appliances and products for maximum energy conservation. Several categories of products – heating and cooling equipment, home lighting and electronics and household appliances, bear the ENERGY STAR logo.
Another point to remember is to install a matched system in your home. The matched system will enable all the components to work well together with greatest efficiency. The matched systems can be split (separate units fitted inside and outside the house) or packaged/central (one unit housing all the components).
Efficiency levels of heating and cooling systems can be calculated from the various ratings that are assigned to them by manufacturers and government inspectors. AFUE (Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating for a furnace. An AFUE of 80% and higher indicates that the model is highly efficient. HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) is short for heating seasonal performance factor. When buying heat pumps check the HSPF, ratings of 7 and higher are indicative of high efficiency. When you are buying air conditioning for your home, take note of the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of the appliance. SEER or seasonal energy efficiency ratio of 13 and more signify high efficiency performance.
A modern way to heat and cool your home efficiently is to install ductless heat pumps that provide even heating and cooling at a fraction of the cost of conventional systems in air conditioning.