Getting The Most From Your AC Unit

Modern AC manufacturers have invested a lot of effort and money into developing the most energy-efficient equipment possible. In order to get the most from your AC equipment, you need to make sure that you know what characteristics to look for. You also need to make sure that you improve your home's defenses against heat gain. 

The Components of an Energy-Efficient AC Unit

There are a few key components to focus on when you are choosing an AC unit. They are as follows:

1. The coils. An AC unit uses evaporator coils to extract heat from the air in your house and condenser coils to expel heat into the outside air. When choosing an energy efficient unit, you want to ask about the surface area of the coils. The larger the surface of the coils, the more quickly they are able to absorb and expel heat. 

2. The fan motor. A fan motor that can only run at one speed will only run at full blast. Thus, your AC unit will race to cool your home down, shut off, then race again when the need for cooling again arises. A fan motor with variable speeds will be able to adjust its output to the cooling demands in your home. Thus, your fan can run at lower speeds for more time when the need for cooling is lower and run at full blast when there is a great need for cooling. 

2. The Compressor. An AC unit with only one compressor will only be able to pump coolant through the system at one speed. On the other hand, a unit with multiple compressors will be able to adjust its speed to match the output of the fan. A system that can run at lower speeds for long periods of time will end up using less electricity in the long run. 

Defeating Heat Gain

Even if you have the most energy-efficient cooling system on the market, if your home gains heat as fast or faster than your AC unit can cool it back down, you will still spend more money than you should on cooling your home. For the most energy-efficient home, make sure that you take steps to defeat heat gain. For example, you can install window film to filter out UV rays before they can enter your home and heat things up. Simply installing window film can reduce your cooling costs by as much as 23%.

While upgrading your cooling system and your home's defense against heat gain will cost money, this is a situation where you have to spend money to save money. However, you need to pace yourself so that you don't simply replace cooling costs with financing costs, so sometimes it is best to start with the less expensive option—installing window film—so that you can afford a new cooling system. 

Contact a heating and air conditioning contractor like Property Monkey for more information.