Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Is Your Air Conditioning Unit Running Efficiently?

air conditioning unit

The severity of high temperatures not only impacts our physical activity but also overwhelms our intellectual faculties. A hot, sweaty body, coupled up with brains that feel like fried gizzards, can make even the simplest tasks like watching your favorite comedy show difficult to accomplish. Leaving you with a sense of helplessness that feels like a heavy rock placed in your heart. Thanks to air conditioners, we enjoy cooler comfortable temperatures both at home and at work. 

Air conditioning units are not limited to serving interior environments with cooler temperatures. They better air quality by removing air pollutants and molds from the air we inhale. This is especially critical to patients of allergies and asthma who are hyper-sensitive to indoor air pollution. 

Notably, as your air conditioning unit gets worked-out over time, its efficiency can dramatically drop. Thereby undergoing strain in abid to keep your home at pleasant temperatures. 

What Factors Determine AC Efficiency? 

air conditioning unit
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Despite installing a high-efficiency conditioner, several factors impact its peak performance. These include:

  • Maintenance

Just like most machines, small problems that go undetected in your ac unit can magnify into serious issues. Thus comprising the efficiency of your installation over time.  Therefore, scheduling regular maintenance from a certified HVAC professional proactively detects and solves problems that undermine the effectiveness of your installation. 

  • Duct Conditions

Duct leaks arising from cracks, openings, and disconnections make it more difficult for an air conditioning unit in good condition to cool your premises. Additionally, dirty build up in your ductwork means extra work for your ac installation in sustaining airflow. Atop scheduling regular maintenance, you should also check the status of your duct to ensure that you get the most from your air conditioning. 

  • Temperature Settings 

Setting your temperatures too low to cool your home faster overtakes the unit. Consequently causing it to lose its efficiency more quickly. To boost the efficiency of your system, it is recommended that you utilize a programmable thermostat. Which preserves energy when there is less need for cooling on your premises. 

How can you Measure the Efficiency of Your Air Conditioning Systems?

air conditioning unit
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SEER and EER Measurements

The efficiency of air conditioning systems is recorded in terms of EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The former measures the effectiveness of an ac unit on the hottest day of the season. And is calculated by dividing the cooling power provided by an air conditioning system per hour, by the rate of electricity consumption (wattage) of the unit per hour. 

SEER, on the other hand, indicates the efficiency of an ac unit for a whole season. And is obtained by dividing the total cooling power output throughout the season, by the rate of electricity consumption over the season. Hence, SEER is more reliable in determining an AC’s efficiency compared to EER.  

According to Absolute Airflow, proper ductwork and a properly-sized unit for a premise should see something slightly positively or negatively diverging from 85% efficiency. 

SEER and EER measurements are pretty easy to figure out when shopping for a new appliance, as they are readily indicated by manufacturers. By calculating them after installation, you can easily conclude the efficiency of your installation compared to the manufacturer’s figures. 

Thermometric Measurements

Waiting for the hottest day of the season to determine your air conditioning unit’s efficiency is quite impractical, as it will require a lot of patience. On the other hand, taking and computing SEER readings for an entire season is a religious affair, only useful to air conditioning experts conducting research. It will consume too much of your precious time.

When it comes to determining the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, thermometric measurements provide the best seamless solution. The process constitutes simple steps unraveled below: 

  • Turn on your ac unit on an 80 degrees F day and leave it running for approximately 15 minutes
  • Set a thermometer on a supply register. Closest to the inside of the cooling equipment
  • Read the temperature of the thermometer after 5 minutes
  • Repeat the first three steps at the return vent

In observation, the outcoming air should be at least 15 degrees cooler than the incoming air. An air conditioning unit that is not cooling to those levels indicates poor efficiency. Hence, it should be inspected and repaired by a certified HVAC professional. 

What Are Some Steps That Can Make Your Air Conditioning Work More Efficiently? 

Finally, some measures that you can take to ensure that your air conditioning works more efficiently include: 

  • Scheduling regular maintenance
  • Installing your unit away from the sun
  • Utilizing a programmable thermostat
  • Replacing components when they start failing

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