When 14 straight hours of summer sun hits Hinesville, GA, per day, temperatures regularly skyrocket into the low 90s. As this occurs, you’ll feel tempted to turn the dial lower on your HVAC system’s thermostat for added relief. However, you fear your utility bill hitting you with another discomfort as it slowly but surely transcends.
Cracked skin and joint stiffness during the winter months will also leave you wondering if your comfort is worth the increased energy costs. Despite how much you manipulate your thermostat, higher charges and low energy output are inevitable if your HVAC system’s efficiency is lacking.
However, if you’re seeking to improve HVAC efficiency, you’ve come to the right place. At Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, we will relay the seven most vital tips that prove consistently effective. We also provide air conditioner repair services in Hinesville for any residents who need an extra boost to get their system working this summer or winter.
Indoor Fans for Circulation
One of the most important things to realize is that improving your HVAC unit efficiency doesn’t always start with the HVAC unit. Your system’s thermostat senses the indoor air temperature and sends signals to your unit, indicating how much heating or cooling power it needs to reach your desired temperature.
If your thermostat senses the standing hot air that stubbornly sticks to each room during the summer, your AC unit will turn on more frequently. Similarly, hot air rises to the ceiling level in the upper rooms of your home, which the thermostat doesn’t read during the colder season. Therefore, your heating unit runs more often in the winter as well.
Turning on a portable fan or ceiling fan in the rooms you use will help circulate this stagnant air in all seasons. During the summer, your fan should rotate counterclockwise, so cooler air moves downward. Conversely, your fan should spin clockwise during the winter to lower the warmer air that settles right below the ceiling.
Clean Filters for Less Strain on Your System
Another tip on how to improve HVAC efficiency is to change or clean your filters frequently. The primary job of your unit’s filters is to deter dust, dirt, and debris from entering your system and your home as it moves air between the indoor and outdoor units.
Without the two to three air filters, particles will travel into the system, clogging moving parts like the motor and fans and banging against and breaking other parts, resulting in constant costly repairs. However, simply placing filters on your system doesn’t prevent all damages. Dirty filters eventually render your system unusable without immediate care and threaten your family’s health.
When dust and pollutants clog your filters, it blocks quality air from easily accessing your rooms. As a result, your system works harder to produce your desired indoor temperature, which puts extra stress on your system, causing it to break down prematurely. The extra energy also raises your utility bills.
Professionals suggest you change your filters every three months (or more frequently if you live in a crowded area with lots of animal dander or pollutants). If you don’t, the system blows the particles off the filters and into your rooms, where it then settles on your furniture and floors, triggering allergies and other respiratory illnesses.
You may also clean your filters with a mild detergent, warm water, and a gentle scrub to save money on new filters.
Programmable Thermostats for Smarter Use
Using a programmable thermostat is another way how to improve HVAC efficiency. Lowering your indoor temperature, even if only for a few hours a day, will diminish costs; this is similar to how raising your system’s thermostat adds expenses. If you invest in a slightly more expensive programmable thermostat, set it in advance to change temperatures, even if you’re away.
Common types of programmable thermostats include:
- One-Week Schedule: The program schedule remains the same seven days a week unless you alter it manually.
- 5-2 Schedule: Use this schedule when you need a different indoor setting during the weekend, giving you two different settings per week.
- 5-1-1 Schedule: This schedule has three separate settings for the week (one for the weekdays, one for Saturday, and one for Sunday).
- 7-Day Schedule: If you need a different setting each day of the week, this schedule is ideal.
These programmable thermostats will automatically adjust if you’re away for the weekend or sleeping during the night. It saves energy by raising the temperature slightly during the summer or marginally lowering it during the winter when you don’t notice it. If you choose a Smart thermostat, you may also connect it to your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to alter your indoor conditions at any time.
Acceptable Ductwork for Optimal Airflow
When it comes to ductwork, the first thing you should check is that you have appropriately sized ducts. If the tunnels are too narrow, the air comes through with excess pressure that may damage the framework. Wider tunnels, lots of turns and bends, and longer passageways, however, cause your system to inefficiently use more force to push the desired air through the intricate duct design.
Furthermore, cracks in your ductwork seep quality air into your walls and outside your home. Depending on the size or number of imperfections in your ductwork, more than 50% of your air will find its way into your attic, connected garage, basement, and other crawl spaces, never making it to your desired rooms.
Therefore, your system will run longer for rooms in use to reach a certain temperature, and you’ll pay extra for inadvertently heating and cooling unused rooms. You can remedy this by calling the professionals at Georgia Air Cooling & Heating to check for leaky ducts via pressure tests and repair or replace them accordingly.
Repair Gaps around the Home
Like faulty ductwork, gaps around your home prevent quality air from remaining in your abode. Therefore, repairing household gaps is another way how to improve HVAC efficiency.
Sometimes, gaps aren’t even gaps at all. Many residents leave a window or door open as their system runs, allowing a large percentage of their quality air to flow out of their homes. Therefore, the first thing you should do is ensure that all entry points are securely closed.
If that doesn’t keep your warm or cool air in, you may need to seal the area around your doors and windows to prevent drafts. You can use anything from caulk and weather strips to a piece of cloth to separate your indoor and outdoor air. Consider hiring a specialist to scope out your home for other potential leaks that may originate from outlets, fireplaces, air ducts, and cracks in the ceiling, walls, or foundation.
Flush Out Your Drain Line
Your system produces condensation within the evaporator coils, which moves into a condensation drain pan. The drain line then disposes of the water near the external unit. It continues this process as the system remains in use.
Since the drain line is continuously discharging unwanted water, it is always moist, promoting mold, mildew, and algae growth. This situation will eventually lead to foul odors from within your system and increase toxicity in your home; growth may also block the drain line.
You may try flushing out the drain line on your own by dispensing one cup of bleach into the drain line to dissolve clogs. Afterward, pour one gallon of fresh water into the system to rinse the bleach out of the pipes. If you prefer, count on a professional to clean your drain line with each maintenance check.
Biannual Preventative Maintenance
Checking to ensure your HVAC unit is in proper working condition before you start using it rigorously is our final tip on this list on how to improve HVAC efficiency. If you’re using your system during the summer and winter, have a professional check it during the spring and fall so that minor issues currently unnoticeable don’t turn into larger, costlier concerns.
If your system is running with broken or worn parts, these parts may also damage your system, forcing you to purchase a replacement HVAC unit. To prevent this, allow a professional to inspect your system thoroughly, make minor repairs, flush the drain line, and examine refrigerant levels.
They’ll also explain if you need more extensive repairs or replacement parts and how to take care of your system to prevent future damage.
Georgia Air, the Ripest Peach in All of Hinesville
Maintenance checkups with the right company prevent expensive repairs and replacements in the long run. At Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, we have an intricate checklist and experienced technicians that work on each system like it’s their only project. Our team also cares about each customer, taking the time to explain how to improve HVAC efficiency cost-effectively on your own. To learn about the HVAC maintenance checklist to follow or to schedule service in Hinesville, GA, call 912-513-3724 today!