Fifty percent of the energy used in a home is because of heating and cooling. You need an air conditioner that runs as efficiently as possible to save money on electricity bills as these Northern California gas prices increase and let’s not forget about inflation. You may not always think about performance if the system is cooling as it should. However, don’t assume that your AC unit is running at peak efficiency.
These are a few signs that your air conditioner may be using excess energy:
1. Increase in Utility Bills
Energy efficient AC units are designed to save money. The utility bills should remain similar year on year unless there has been an increase in the energy rates. Your AC may not be functioning as intended or efficiently if you notice a higher-than-normal utility bill. This can be because of an aging system with older components that need to work longer and harder for cooling your space.
2. Inconsistent Temperature
Inconsistent temperature in your home is another sign of a system that is inefficient. Efficient systems are generally able to maintain the same temperature in a house. You may notice hot or cold spots in different areas of the house if your system is running inefficiently. You should know that poorly insulated or aging ductwork may also cause discrepancies in the temperature.
3. Constantly Running AC
Air conditioners normally cycle multiple times in an hour. However, your unit may not be performing as efficiently as it should if it is running more often. Your air conditioner may be wasting energy if it fails to keep up with the set temperature.
4. Frequent Repairs
Another sign of your air conditioner wasting energy is that it frequently requires repairs. Excess energy generally causes a component to fail. The air conditioner may not be able to keep up with the demands. It may be a good time to consider an AC replacement if this happens.
5. Air Conditioner is Over a Decade Old
Your older system may run smoothly but it may not be as energy efficient. You should keep in mind that a system loses efficiency as its parts start to get older. An older air conditioning unit may need to work harder at keeping your home comfortable and cool. With that said, newer systems are more energy efficient with higher SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) requirements.
6. Humidity in the House
If you feel clammy indoors even when the air conditioner is on, your system may be short-cycling. This means that the air conditioner is not on long enough to take care of the humidity. An efficient air conditioner will control both indoor humidity and temperature. The evaporator coil will not be able to remove moisture from the air due to low refrigerant levels or lack of maintenance. This may make you lower the thermostat temperature causing the system to consume more energy.
7. Lack of Maintenance
HVAC systems require routine maintenance like all other major appliances to run efficiently and with minimal repairs. Routine maintenance involves annual inspection of air filters and all other components for any potential issue that may cause your air conditioner to waster energy. Further, you need to properly charge refrigerant levels in your air conditioner and keep the coils clean.