There are a multitude on ways to reduce your cooling costs, typically the air conditioning makes up about half of your electric billing.
The amount of heat your house gains from outside is the amount your air conditioner must remove to keep your family comfortable.
- Check your door and window seals for leakage
- Check your interior attic access for seal and insulation
- If you do not have “Low E” glass - windows can be filmed to reduce heat gains.
- Airflow balance is also a big issue. If the bedrooms are hot and the living area is cool, the thermostat gets turned down so the bedroom gets comfortable. This means you have to overcool the rest of the house to cool off 1 or 2 bedrooms
- UP goes the cooling costs.
The other big issue is maintenance - if your coil is dirty, it doesn't transfer heat efficiently. Dirt blocks heat transfer. This is why we use coolie cups on our beverages - to keep the heat from transferring into our cool liquids. If your coil is covered with debris, the heat in the air can't be absorbed into the refrigerant and removed from your indoor space.
The outdoor unit clearances are also very important for heat discharge. The heat collected inside your house is removed via your refrigerant lines to the outdoor unit. If the outdoor unit is closed in by bushes, waste cans, fences, walls or overhangs it CAN'T get rid of the heat - you loose capacity and efficiency - Power bill goes up.
The sneaker here is dryer vents too close to the outdoor unit, the lint gets sucked into the outdoor coil and blocks the heat transfer.
Another sneaker is voids in the thermal barrier of the attic. The attic insulation is your thermal barrier - if it has been removed, relocated creating sections of the attic or knee walls with just bare dry wall kissing the 110 - 140 degree attic air temperatures will cause greater heat gains. Up goes the power bill.
Juli Klein was certified by the Building Performance Institute as a Building Analyst Professional and Building Envelope Professional in 2010.
Another sneaker is a restrictive air filter. The more costly, usually the more restrictive. End result is air flow blockage which can affect the capacity, efficiency of the system not to mention air quality issues from excessive moisture.