How to Optimize Your AC's Performance
Air conditioning units are a must when it comes to extremely hot weather. It keeps the home clean and fresh. Air conditioning units not only cool the home, but also recycle the air. So, in essence it improves the quality of air and cools down the environment. Most people complain that their air conditioning unit is not running properly, even when they get the best air conditioner on the market and keep it well maintained, and all necessary repairs are done in time and with caution.
But still those units do not work as they should or at least how the customer expects it to run. The thing is that air conditioners need to be installed in a specific manner, otherwise they will not perform well. There are quite a few things that you need to consider that will enable your air conditioners to perform optimally.
If you make sure everything is taken care of, you will be amazed at how well air conditioners perform. Most individuals face problems with portable air conditioners. This is merely because they are not installed the proper way. In addition, there are some tweaks one can make to the air conditioning installation. These tweaks ensure that the air conditioner is working at its full potential and conserving energy.
Why Should You Attempt To Boost Your AC's Performance?
The functionality of air conditioners depends significantly on the surrounding environment. Any inconsistency in installing the AC or operating it will result in poor performance. In some cases, the air conditioners also consume more power simply because they are not optimized. Optimizing your air conditioner will not only provide you the best cooling, but it will also lower your operating costs. Let's look at why you should attempt to boost your unit's performance:
To Save Operating Costs
In most cases, the problem with an air conditioner not performing well has something to do with the home. If you see that an air conditioner keeps running for hours and still does not cool an area effectively, you should have your home checked for common issues like air leaks that allow cool and warm air to escape the interior of a building. This prevents the home or office from cooling properly when the AC is on. Moreover, the air conditioner keeps running continuously which results in excessive power consumption.
For Proper Cooling
Another issue around the home or office is improper insulation. If you want to install an air conditioner, you have to make sure that the home is insulated well enough or else you will not be able to get sufficient cooling. The air conditioner will have to run more continuously, but still won't be able to cool your home.
This is because insufficient insulation causes the walls and roof to become hot. The worst part is that the heating source is continuous. As the air conditioner attempts to cool down the home, more heat is transferred through the walls and roof into the home. There is no way an air conditioner can work properly in such a scenario.
To Ensure Durability of the Air Conditioner
If there is a leak or improper insulation in the home, the air conditioner will have to work twice as hard. Air conditioners are meant to cool enclosed areas and maintain the temperature. However, leaks and insulation issues cause the AC to work in a way that is not intended. This is why there is a chance that it may break down faster than normal.
There are quite a few electrical and mechanical components in an AC. These components have a specific life if they are used as recommended. Leaks and insulation issues cause these parts to wear out quicker. Within a few months you may need to have the AC replaced or repaired.
Optimizing an Air Conditioner for Best Performance
There are some basic optimization tips that you can use to enhance the performance of an AC. These tips are quite simple, yet they are easily ignored in most cases. If you adhere to these tips, not only will you receive more cooling from your AC, but it will also consume less electricity.
Proper Insulation Goes a Long Way
Best AC Performance Depends On
This optimization tip is a no-brainer. If you insulate your home or the area where the AC is, it will remain cool. Insulation keeps the outside heat or cold away from the inside of your home. This is bound to have an effect on the air conditioning unit. Air conditioners do not perform well when the exterior environment is constantly heating the room from within.
This is why you should consider getting more insulation for your home. The insulation works to keep the outside heat away from the interior of the home. Once the heat stays out, the air conditioner will do the rest of the job. In addition, the AC will not have to work as hard to cool the room and your room will remain cool for longer even after you turn off the AC. This is because insulation works both ways. Not only does it prevent heat from getting into your home, but it will also prevent the cool from escaping.
Make Sure the Area Is Not Leaking
The first thing you have to make sure of is that there are no leaks in the home or office. If the room where the AC is installed is leaking, it can be disastrous for the AC. The AC will have to work twice as hard to cool the room, yet the cool air will creep out.
You will be left with an AC in need of expensive repairs, a high electricity bill and a room that is still warm. There are many areas you can check for leaks. The first and foremost area is the small space between the door and the floor. Also, be sure to check the windows. If possible, get a professional to look for any leaks around your home or office so they may be identified and promptly sealed.
Keep Air Conditioner Away From the Sun
Portable air conditioners can be placed anywhere. In most cases, they are installed near a window so that the hose can be diverted outside. Even though this is a common practice, it can be a problem if the window lets in sunlight. Direct sunlight on the air conditioner affects its functionality. The sunlight heats up the internal components of the portable air conditioner.
When these components heat up, they do not cool the area properly. The best thing to do is to draw the curtains if the window lets in sunlight. You can also extend the hose and move the unit away from the window. You will be surprised by how noticeable the improvement in AC performance is.
Maintain the Air Conditioner Properly
The first and foremost rule to ensure proper functionality of an AC unit is maintenance. You have to make sure that you take care of it and clean it regularly. If not, the AC will malfunction soon enough. Even the simplest maintenance has a huge effect on the durability of the air conditioner. There are quite a few maintenance tips you will find in the owner's manual. If you adhere to the maintenance tips you will get good performance from the AC and it won't break down as often.
Placement of the Air Conditioning Unit
If you have a two-story home and a single air conditioning unit to cool the entire home you have to place it strategically. The biggest problem most homeowners face is that the bottom area cools down, but the upstairs portion remains warm. This is merely due to the fact that cool air is denser and settles at the lower levels.
This results in the warm air rising and making way towards the upper levels. To eliminate this issue, the air conditioner should be placed towards the top. This way the upper levels will be cooled. You won't have to worry about the lower levels as cool air tends to settle towards the bottom. The lower level will automatically cool down. If you place the AC at the bottom level, it will cool the lower level, but not the upper level.
Maintenance That You Should Periodically Perform On Your AC
Depending upon the type of air conditioning unit you have, you will need to perform a series of maintenance steps. You have to be extra vigilant while performing the maintenance. If not, your unit will not cool your home or office effectively.
Clean the Coils and Compressor Area
In some air conditioners the compressor and the coil are placed in an outdoor unit. On air conditioners that go in the windows, the compressor and coils are right outside the window. On portable units, these components are located inside. Regardless of where the coil and compressor is located, it needs to be cleaned.
You will first need to access the coil area. You will need to remove a cover or unscrew it depending on the model you have. Be sure to cover all electrical circuits and components with plastic before you begin cleaning the fins and coil. If the fins are bent, get a special fin comb. This comb should be available easily at an AC supply store. It will help you straighten out the fins for optimum performance.
Clean the Filter
Central air conditioning and window type AC units have a filter attached to the front of the unit. If the filter gets choked, it can affect the functionality. To make sure your AC is working perfectly, you should make sure the filter is always clean.
Once you remove the filter, check if it is one that can be cleaned or washed. In most air conditioners, the manufacturer uses a filter that can be cleaned. You will need to wash such a filter gently and then put it back into place. If your AC uses a filter that needs to be replaced, be sure to get the replacement done immediately. Replaceable filters are more delicate than washable ones and if they are left in the AC for long they may damage it.
Keep an Eye Out For Liquid or Ice
If your air conditioner is leaking liquid or spitting out ice, you should get help from a professional immediately. The internal unit of air conditions contains many electrical components which can get damaged due to water leaks. There is also a risk of electric shock. Leaks or ice from the air conditioner also indicate a potential problem which needs to be addressed immediately.
Make Sure the Cooling Pipes Are Not Blocked
Air conditioners that have a separate unit for a compressor send cool air to the indoor unit using a pipe. This pipe is often constructed from copper and is prone to getting blocked. If your air-conditioner's pipe gets blocked, you should have it replaced or fixed right away. To check if your AC's pipe is blocked, you should look for ice buildup on the pipe right outside the exterior unit. If the pipe near the exterior unit has ice residue on it, then your pipe is most probably blocked. This causes the AC to work extra hard to pump air inside.
Recommended Temperature Setting For Air Conditioner
In addition to all the maintenance tips and home modifications, the temperature setting also has a profound effect on the AC's effectiveness. If you want your AC to work flawlessly and conserve energy at the same time, you should set it at 78oF. Let's look at why this is the recommended temperature:
This temperature requires the least effort on the AC's part to cool a room. The air conditioner cools the room and then simply has to maintain it. This way the AC consumes less energy and you save a significant amount of money.
Ideal Temperature for the Body
If the body becomes too cool, there are all sorts of health issues one can face. This is why doctors recommend setting the thermostat to 78oF. This keeps you healthy and cool at the same time.
How Long Should You Keep Your Air Conditioner Running
If you have a central air condition system, you should keep it running at 78oF all day. If you turn it off, your home will heat up. When you turn the AC on in a warm home, it will have to work hard to cool the home and will consume more energy. On the other hand, if you keep it on, it will work occasionally to maintain the temperature then automatically turn off.
Common Issues with Air Conditioners You Should Watch Out For
One issue that you should always watch out for in air conditioners is constant running. If you have an air conditioner that keeps working all the time, there is definitely a problem. There is one of two things that can be the issue. There may be a leak in the room and the AC is not able to keep it cool, or the thermostat is faulty. Either way, you have to get the issue fixed before it turns into a hefty electricity bill.
If you have centralized air conditioning at your home or office, consider getting a Wi-Fi thermostat. This will allow you to control the air conditioning system from anywhere. You will be able to keep track of your electricity bill and come home to a cool environment at the same time. There are various modes in such thermostats that will keep your home cool and help you save money.
If you adhere to the abovementioned tips and tricks, you will be able to get the best performance from your AC. In addition to enhanced performance, your AC will consume less power. You will have a cooler environment at home or at work and yet have a lower electricity bill.