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Go with the Airflow: How to get the most out of your air conditioner with efficient airflow

Improving the efficiency of your air conditioning is a great way to save yourself money on utility costs, maintain the health of your air conditioning unit for longer, and keep you cooler. With warmer weather just around the corner, now is the time to make sure your air conditioner is fully operational and giving you the best airflow efficiency.

 

Read on to learn about the importance of airflow efficiency, and our tips on how to maximize the function of your air conditioner in time for summer.

 

We’ve assembled some of the best ways to optimize airflow and get the most out of your air conditioner. From general maintenance tips to optimizing the area surrounding your AC unit, we’ve got all the information you need to ensure you stay cool and comfortable.

 

What Problems Are Caused By Inefficient Airflow?

 

 

1 – High Energy Costs

One of the main issues that stems from an inefficient air conditioner is that it can really ramp up your energy bills. Around ¾ of US homes have air conditioning installed, and the electricity required to run it makes up a large chunk of your energy bill. If your house and AC unit are not optimized for efficient airflow, you’ll likely be using more energy than you need.

 

2 – Your Air Conditioner Could Break Completely

If your air conditioner is not maintained to keep it healthy and efficient, you run the risk of the unit breaking completely. The filters, coils and fins all require regular cleaning and maintenance in order to keep them working efficiently. If you neglect to keep your air conditioner in good condition, it will have a much shorter lifespan.

 

3 – Dangers of Leaking Coolant

Inefficient air conditioners are much more likely to break, and this can cause the coolant, or refrigerant, to leak out of the unit. If a coolant is leaked, especially in hot weather, it can evaporate and form freon. Freon is an odorless, tasteless gas that can cause serious damage to your internal organs and cells if inhaled. Reduce the risk of leaked coolant by getting your air conditioner regularly maintained by a professional.

 

4 – Increased Risk of Dehydration

Aside from the financial cost of replacing or repairing an inefficient air conditioner, the risk of having no air conditioning in your home during the hottest months of the year pose a serious threat to your physical health. Dehydration occurs quickly when temperatures soar, causing dizziness, blurred vision, and in extreme cases loss of consciousness.

 

5 – Heat Exhaustion & Heatstroke

Other heat-related health issues include heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heat exhaustion can lead to dizziness and loss of consciousness. Heatstroke is a serious medical issue and should be treated by medical professionals. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, fever and chills. You are more at risk of developing a heat-related health problem in hot weather if your air conditioner isn’t working efficiently.

 

How to Improve the Airflow of Your Air Conditioner

 

In order to keep your house fresh and cool and your air conditioning unit working to its best capacity, you need to increase airflow efficiency. Here are our top tips for maximizing airflow and keeping you air conditioner healthy and functional.

 

1 – Clean Your Unit’s Filters Thoroughly

Ideally you should clean your air conditioner’s air filter once per month, especially when it is in high use during the warmer seasons. There are a few different ways to clean your filter. You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any debris that has collected there. You can also wash your filter with warm water, or use a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust. You can get rid of any odor from your filter by scrubbing it with baking soda. Avoid using soap products or washing your filter with dishes as this can leave an unwanted residue on the filter.

 

2 – Clean the Drain Line

The drain line is the part of your air conditioner that drains the condensed liquids. An air conditioner is designed to collect water in the air and remove it through the drain line: this reduces humidity, cooling your home in the process. Over time, mildew, mold and other residues can build up in the drain line, causing your air conditioner to become less efficient. You can easily clean out your drain line by pouring a cup of bleach into the pipe. This will unclog anything that has accumulated there and keep your AC in top working order.

 

3 – Clear Out Vents in Your Home

As well as regularly maintaining your air conditioner, you need to make sure your home is optimized for efficient air flow. This means you need to keep your vents clean and clear of debris and any blockages. Indoor vents help keep the flow of air to your air conditioner steady which means it can work to its full capacity. Vacuum indoor vents to remove dust and other build-ups, and make sure your vents aren’t obstructed by furniture or blinds.

 

4 – Close All Windows and Doors

Your air conditioner won’t work properly if it’s trying to process all the air in the outside world as well as the air inside your home! When your AC unit is in use, make sure to keep all windows and doors closed so your home is kept cool and reduce the amount of hot air that can get in from outside.

 

5 – Keep Heat-Producing Appliances Away from Your Thermostat

Your thermostat is used to tell your air conditioner what the temperature of the air is, and controls how hard the AC unit has to work in order to keep your home cool. If your thermostat registers heat from a heat-producing appliance, it will communicate to the air conditioner that the air is hotter than it actually is, and the air conditioner will have to work harder, thinking your home needs to be cooled more. Avoid this by keeping all lamps, stoves, boilers, and other heat-producing kitchen appliances away from your thermostat.

 

6 – Ensure Ductwork is Properly Sealed

The ductwork of an air conditioner is what transports the air from room to room, removing warm air and delivering cool air in its place. If your ductwork is not properly sealed, there can be leaks of air into spaces that you don’t need conditioned, such as loft or basement spaces. Use special duct-sealing tape to mend any visible gaps in your ductwork. Alternatively, hire professional help with ensuring all your ductwork is properly sealed and functional around your home.

 

7 – Avoid Using Large Heat-Producing Appliances in the Daytime

 

 

During the warm seasons, the middle of day is the hottest time and is likely when your air conditioner will have to work the hardest. Using large heat-producing appliances at this time of day, such as an oven, heater, or dryer will cause extra hot air to be drawn into your home. Avoid using these appliances in the middle of the day to help optimize airflow and keep your home fresh and cool.

 

 

 

So, there you have all the information you need to get the most out of your air conditioner. Maximizing airflow is achieved through regular maintenance of your AC unit, as well as by optimizing your home to keep air as cool as possible. We recommend seeking professional assistance in the installation of upkeep of your air conditioner, as this will ensure it is working efficiently and not eating into your energy bill.

 

Stay cool and go with the airflow!

Go With The Airflow: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Air Conditioner With Efficient Airflow

Getting the best value for money from your air conditioning system is high priority for everyone. Whether you need your home to be cool or warm, you need to ensure that its airflow is efficient enough to run the system effectively and in a cost-effective way.

Although some of today’s smart thermostats are making claims to save money on energy bills, they’re not going to give the best effect if you haven’t optimized your home for efficient airflow. If you’re dreading opening your energy bill, there are a few things you can try to ensure your HVAC system works to cool and heat your house as efficiently as possible.

Avoid Closing All The Vents

If the lower floor of your home generally feels cooler than the upper floor, you might think that closing all the downstairs vents will help to push the air conditioning upstairs. However, this is a very bad idea.

If you close your vents your system will be using more energy since the system will have to work harder, pushing past the higher pressure which the closed vents have created. This is especially true if your system has a variable speed fan which automatically changes speeds. Older systems usually have a fan which operates at a steady speed, however even this is bad news when you close lots of vents as the fan will be slowed down and there will less airflow.

Also, if you don’t have sealed ductwork, the extra pressure may push air conditioned or heated air through cracks and into the attic rather than into the living space. Although you may think that closing vents will do the job, due to the design of HVAC systems, it won’t have the effect you’re hoping for.

Although it seems counter-intuitive to leave your vents open all the time, this is the best way to ensure efficiency and to make sure that your air flow is more efficient around your entire property.

Check Your Air Filter

Although manufacturers of air filters usually tell you that you need to change your HVAC air filter around every 3 months, you might need to do it more often depending on how frequently you run your air conditioning or heating. Check it each week for build up of dirt and debris, and as soon as it begins to look visibly dirty it’s time to change it.

You also need to think about how thick your air filter is. They all come with their own MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) which will be a figure of between 1 and 16. Whenever possible, going for one with a higher number will help to optimize your air flow. 16 is the highest rating and will catch more particles than a lower rated filter, keeping your air cleaner and more free from allergens and particles.

However, not every HVAC system can handle higher rated air filters, so it’s very important to check to make sure that yours can cope with such a thick filter before you use one. While a thick air filter works well to catch allergens, it also restricts the airflow substantially, so your system needs a suitably powerful fan to handle it otherwise you run the risk of damaging your system and causing a costly breakdown.

Don’t Run The HVAC Fan Unless You Have To

Although popular opinion holds that running your HVAC fan all the time, even if your air conditioning isn’t on, will cool your house down more, however it doesn’t actually achieve that effect. Although running the fan permanently will work to circulate the air, it won’t necessarily be any cooler, and, in fact, running your HVAC fan all the time could make the house even more humid and it will also increase your energy bills.

Check The HVAC System Yourself

Although getting your HVAC system checked by a professional is important, you can inspect several of its components yourself to ensure that it’s running properly.

Check the A/C condenser outside and get rid of any obstructions like bushes or shades, and check the flames being produced by the furnace. If they’re flickering orange, you need to get professional help.

Check the air conditioner unit by removing its cover panel and inspecting its evaporator coils and fins. If you see dirt building up, you can clean it or vacuum it, however if you see ice on them, call a professional to help.

Insulate Your Attic

Having good insulation will keep your home cool in the summer months and warm in the winter, and your attic is a good place to start. You may also have poor airflow in the attic, so make sure that you have ventilation in there in the form of exhaust and intake vents. If your insulation is blocking the intake vents it will be restricting the airflow, so make sure that you remove any obstructions.

Improve Your Windows

Although investing in new windows can slash your energy bills, especially if your windows have single panes, there are ways of achieving the same results in a more cost-effective way. Fitting weather stripping around windows and doors and using plastic film to cover the windows in the winter will help to prevent drafts and cut costs.

While you’re looking for drafts, plug any other air leaks that you find around your home. Cracks and gaps can cause cool and hot air to escape outside your home and make your air conditioning system work harder, costing you more.

Closing Doors And Windows

Conditioned air escapes easily from your home if you leave your doors and windows open. We all need to air our homes from time to time, but when you’re doing this, make sure your air conditioner is switched off otherwise you’ll be paying to cool down your whole neighborhood.

Program Your Thermostat

If you’re always adjusting your thermostat your system will run for longer than required and that will lead to more frequent off and on cycles making your home less comfortable. Just program your thermostat to your chosen temperature and then leave it alone

Remember that setting your thermostat at a low temperature doesn’t mean your home will be cooled down any more rapidly, and in fact the system will simply run for longer, driving your utility bills up even higher.

Routine Maintenance

 

One of the most vital things about optimizing your home’s airflow is ensuring you get your HVAC system checked on an annual basis by a HVAC professional. Having routine maintenance every year will make sure that the system stays in top shape and functioning at its expected level of efficiency.

A qualified HVAC technician will be able to give your whole system a tune up, spot any potential problems before they develop into major issues that could cause a breakdown and make sure that everything is clean and oiled ready to function perfectly.

If you follow these tips, you’ll find that your home’s airflow will be greatly improved, saving you money on the cost of running your HVAC system to cool or warm your house, and keeping your home a more comfortable place to live.

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