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!