According to recent statistics, Americans spend roughly $93 billion per year on HVAC installation and repairs. Given this, maximizing the efficiency of your AC system is the key to avoiding sub-par performance and preventing breakdowns. The first thing you can do is add your a/c to Centriq to ensure that you have easy access to all of the manuals, parts, and how to videos you might need to maintain it yourself. After that, you can follow these AC efficiency tips to keep your system humming in between appointments with maintenance technicians.

Replace Your Air Filters Regularly
Dirty air filters can reduce the efficiency of a central air-conditioning system by up to 15 percent. If you go too long between filter changes, the evaporator will struggle to absorb heat from interior air. The end results are a lot of wasted electricity and lousy cooling performance. Change your filters every 90 days to ensure maximum efficiency.

Keep Vents Clear and Ducts Sealed
Vents and registers that are clogged with dust, dirt and pet hair will force compressors, evaporators and fans to work overtime. The equipment failures that can result will necessitate a premature AC system tune up to restore functionality. Likewise, leaks in air ducts will cause an AC system to work harder than necessary and reduce efficiency.

Don’t Alter the Thermostat
One of the easiest ways to make HVAC systems unnecessarily consume large amounts of energy is by frequently changing the thermostat’s temperature setting. HVAC systems can only cool a space so fast and require a ton of energy to do so. Use a smart thermostat like Nest to gradually adjust temperatures throughout the day for maximum efficiency and comfort.

Plug Gaps in the Building’s Exterior
Even seemingly insignificant leaks in the exterior of a building can greatly reduce the effectiveness of an AC system. Use an all-purpose silicone caulk to seal doors and windows. Use a cheap infrared thermal leak detector to locate cracks that aren’t glaringly obvious. A radiant barrier installed in the attic will deflect solar energy and reduce AC power consumption.

Use Landscaping to Regulate Temperature
If you want to avoid undue strain on your air conditioner, planting the right plants in the right places can be an effective strategy. Tall, sprawling shade trees positioned to the south of a building will block a lot of solar energy. Conversely, flora that blocks cooling breezes from reaching a home will make an AC system work harder.

Leverage Passive Cooling Techniques
One of the most effective ways to reduce wear and tear on an AC system is by blocking solar radiation from entering a building through the windows. Simply shutting the blinds on south-facing windows during the day will suffice for most households. Replacing old windows with more energy-efficient models and applying a laminate film will also cut down on AC energy consumption.

Keep an Eye on Interior Humidity Levels
A humid home or business is harder to cool than one with a fairly dry interior. A dehumidifier will maintain favorable indoor humidity levels and reduce the stress on a central AC system’s machinery. The end results will be lower energy consumption, lower AC repair costs and a more comfortable interior climate for occupants.

What to Do When Your AC Really Acts Up

Routine maintenance and intelligent usage will go a long way towards making your HVAC system operate flawlessly. However, you’ll need to schedule an AC system tune up performed by an expert in the field sooner or later. When it comes to complicated HVAC systems with many moving parts, serious AC repair is best left to professionals that possess the tools and know-how to get the job done right.

Content sponsored by Penguin Cooling and Heating.