AC unit outdoors

3 Air Conditioning Facts Homeowners Need to Know

Air conditioning is an important part of your home and your family's needs. Not only does it ensure you are comfortable inside when outdoor temperatures are hot, but proper cooling will also ensure the air quality in your home is healthy.
 

Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough time or energy into learning about your air conditioning system. Without your proper understanding of your system, it will not function as efficiently or effectively as it could be. With this air conditioning guide, you will learn a few key air conditioning facts all homeowners need to know about their AC systems.

1. Cooling Can Be Costly

One of the most important things homeowners should know is that cooling your home, especially during the summer season, uses a good amount of energy. Heating and cooling account for around half of your home's total energy usage, which is surprising for most homeowners to learn.

Thankfully, cooling your home in an energy-efficient and affordable manner is possible, but it will require proper installation, ongoing maintenance, and the help of your HVAC contractor.

2. Size Matters

The actual size of your air conditioning unit matters when you want proper cooling that does not waste energy or money.

One ton of air conditioning capacity will properly cool around 600 square feet. Therefore, a 1,800 square foot home would need a 3-ton unit for sufficient cooling. There are other factors to consider, as well. For example, Alabama homes will require more cooling power since the climate experiences higher temperature and humidity levels compared to states in the northern part of the country.

To ensure you have the right unit size, HVAC professionals or contractors should complete a load calculation using a specialized computer program. This program will use your home's square footage, floor plan, and local climate to determine what size unit is best for the most effective and efficient cooling.

Bigger is not always better when cooling your home, due to the risk of short cycling. Units with a higher tonnage than needed will reach their desired temperatures sooner, cutting off the air conditioning before the AC unit pulls enough heat and humidity from the air. Short cycling may seem more efficient, but it can lead to dangerous humidity levels that affect your home's structure and your health.

3. Maintenance Is Key

Even if you have the right system size, maintenance is key to ensure you cool your home without wasting energy or money. For many homeowners, maintaining their heating and cooling system seems overwhelming, but help is available.

HVAC contractors can conduct a seasonal tune-up on your system before you start cooling or heating your home. During these tune-ups, the HVAC contractor will inspect and repair the entire system to ensure you have no issues.

Inspecting and cleaning the outdoor unit is also part of a tune-up. This will remove dirt and debris that may partially prevent air from flowing through the system. This debris can affect both the system's function and efficiency since your system will use extra energy to continue cooling even though air circulation is lacking.

Lastly, maintenance requires focusing on your system's filters. Most experts recommend replacing the filters once a month. As the air moves through the home, dirt, dust, and other allergens will also move through the ductwork. The filters trap debris and allergens, blocking them from moving through the vents and into your home.

If you have clogged filters, airflow will struggle, affecting the system's ability to move cool air in while increasing energy costs.

Proper understanding is imperative for effective and efficient air conditioning. To learn more about your system or to schedule maintenance, contact us today.