Air conditioning systems (and swamp coolers) are by far among the most important units in a home or commercial building. They help enhance the dwellers’ or occupants’ comfort by sucking warm air from indoor settings, cooling it, and releasing it back.
Others work by drawing outdoor air, cooling it, and circulating it in indoor spaces. Some go a notch further and regulate indoor humidity.
Basically, cooling systems help you beat the heat during warmer days, making your home or office environment more bearable and comfortable.
Nonetheless, cooling systems use energy to perform their functions. As a matter of fact, HVAC systems are known to be among the largest consumers of electricity in homes.
The sad fact is that if you have the wrong cooling system in your home or the one you currently have is faulty, you could end up spending hundreds to thousands of dollars more in utility bills from cooling each year.
For this reason, efficiency is an important factor as far as cooling systems are concerned. So how exactly can you tell if your home’s cooling system is efficient enough?
Well, here are some ways to check the efficiency of a cooling system:
1. Hire an HVAC Expert
The most reliable way to check your air conditioning system’s efficiency is to talk to a professional HVAC service provider and have them perform a system check.
The best thing about these services is that once the pros are done inspecting your system, they will have taken note of any problem causing efficiency issues and will have a long-term solution ready for you.
They’ll honestly tell you whether it’s a damaged part that needs changing, a simple tune-up repair, or the entire cooling unit needs to be replaced.
Getting your cooling system serviced by an expert not only helps improve its efficiency, but it can also help lower the maintenance costs and extend the life of the unit.
In most cases, HVAC service providers perform inspections on various parts of the cooling system, including:
- Flue pipe
- Defrost systems
- Checking refrigerant levels
- Performing pressure tests
2. Check the Filters
Just as the name suggests, air conditioning filters sieve out particles of dust, pollen, and other debris from passing into your home along with air through your cooling system. It basically holds back the unwanted from entering the AC, meaning that it clogs really fast.
Filters are a determinant factor of how the system operates. If AC filters get too clogged, the cooling system’s efficiency suffers. This means that sighting clogs or too much debris on AC filters could indicate low-efficiency.
They could also cause damage to crucial parts of the unit, which is why AC experts advise cleaning or changing your AC filters at least once a month.
3. Check Your Home’s Insulation
In any building, poor insulation means air leakage. Inadequate insulation simply means your cooling system will not be in a position to keep the room cool and comfortable and if it does, it ends up struggling and consuming more energy than it normally should.
4. Note the Signs of Poor Air Quality
Air quality is an important factor as far as indoor cooling systems are concerned. This is because these systems basically keep our indoor environments cool using an air circulation mechanism explained above.
If you notice the signs of poor air quality in your home, there’s a big chance your cooling system also has efficiency issues. Some of these signs include:
- Uneven cooling in rooms
- Excess dust
- Unpleasant odors indoors
- Dampness or humidity issues
- Increased respiratory ailments amongst dwellers
5. Check Air Temperature Difference
If the outside temperature is above 80 Fahrenheit, set your thermostat for a temperature below room temperature. After some time, place the refrigerator thermometer inside one of the AC air ducts.
Give it some time and note the temperature reading, find your unit’s return air duct, and use a thermometer to get the temperature inside there. Note the difference. If the difference is less than 14, your cooling system could be running inefficiently and you may need to get it checked and repaired.
In the course of the cooling system operations, common problems include high energy consumption, mechanical breakdown, and wearing out. Along with dirt and clogging, some of these issues hinder the operational efficiency and reliability of the system.
This makes it important to observe a regular maintenance schedule for your cooling system if at all you want to protect your investment and keep the utility bills down.
If a problem is detected, it should be fixed as soon as possible, preferably by a professional to avoid further damage.