How to Get the Most Out of Your AC System

A central air conditioner can provide anywhere from 15 to 20 years of service. However, homeowners need to do their part to extend the life of a system. The best way to do this is by having a unit maintained and taking other steps to minimize energy consumption. Read on to learn how to get the most out of the AC system in your Mount Pleasant, SC, home.

Replace the Air Filters

Filters are crucial to the longevity of your AC system. They trap pollutants and keep them from building up inside the air conditioner and compromising its performance. Filters only have so much surface area, though. If they clog up, they can obstruct airflow and strain the system. Thus, you’ll need to replace them on a regular basis.

Fiberglass filters, the cheapest and least effective of all filters, last 30 days. It’s more likely that you have pleated filters, though, in which case you’ll be replacing them every 60 to 90 days. High-end filters can be effective for up to six months.

Request Regular AC Maintenance

Professional maintenance is the most important of all the steps we recommend here. Maintenance:

  • Improves energy efficiency.
  • Reduces energy bills.
  • Reduces the need for repairs.
  • Keeps warranties valid.

A tuneup improves efficiency by eliminating all those issues that can cause an AC system to work harder. For instance, take dirt build-up in the evaporator coil. It limits circulation, hampers the coil’s ability to absorb heat and leads to overheating.

Tuneups reduce and prevent the need for repairs, including flood and fire repairs. That may sound like a stretch, but consider how wiring can get loose or the condensate drain line can get clogged. In the end, residents can see both short- and long-term savings from regular AC maintenance.

Program the Thermostat

The AC system may be well-maintained, but you may be letting your thermostat, the “brain” of the unit, run it for longer than it should. This will do no favors to the unit and not really improve your comfort.

Assuming that you own a programmable thermostat, you should create a cooling schedule that works around those times when you’re asleep or away. For every degree that you raise the temperature over an eight-hour period, you save 1% on your energy bills.

Purchase a Smart Thermostat

Programming the thermostat may involve guesswork, but not so with Wi-Fi thermostats. These smart thermostats can learn your temperature preferences, sense when you’re away and adjust temperatures accordingly. They provide remote access, too. Through a special app, you can check up on your humidity levels and energy costs in real-time. As a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, we proudly carry a wide range of Carrier thermostats.

Reduce Heat Build-Up in the Home

This much is clear: The less your AC system runs, the more you get out of it. To keep your air conditioner from running so much in summer, reduce the build-up of heat in your home. For example, try to minimize the times when you:

  • Cook with the oven.
  • Have lots of guests or big parties.
  • Use the clothes dryer.
  • Bathe without spot ventilation.

Also, keep heat-generating appliances away from the thermostat. Otherwise, this device will think your home is warmer than it really is. Heat-generating appliances can include TVs, computers and lamps.

Serving Homeowners Since 1958

An AC system is a major investment, so you want it to last. At Berkeley Heating and Air Conditioning, we’re ready to set you up with a preventative HVAC maintenance agreement. Our factory-trained and NATE-certified service technicians will take on the bulk of the work that leads to greater energy efficiency. Contact us for an appointment.

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