AC Tips for Sealing and SavingPublished on: July 1, 2013
Your air conditioning system works hard to transfer hot air from the interior of your home, but when you leave doors and windows open, you let that heat inside again. You wouldn’t open your windows and expect your air conditioner to power through it, but small leaks and cracks add up to significant costs on your utility bills. Unsealed ductwork can also cause your home’s AC system to lose cool air to your hot attic instead of routing it to where it’s needed. With these AC tips to seal and save, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable summer while cutting utility bills.
Sealing Your Home
In northern climates, cold drafts in winter are obvious. Southeastern states are more prone to leaks of cool air from poorly fitted window sills, door frames without weather stripping and other places where indoor and outdoor air mix. Because these leaks are tougher to feel when you’re inside your home, take a walk outside and put your hand to sills and door frames. You should feel little to no temperature difference if your home’s weatherization is as good as it should be.
Simple weatherization changes are do-it-yourself projects. Commercial weather stripping kits and systems let you add a layer of foam or firm rubber that acts as a physical barrier and holds cool air inside your home. In older homes with loosely fitted windows and doors that may no longer hang evenly on their hinges, weatherizing may become a bigger job. To find out what you need to weather-proof your home and improve its energy efficiency, get an assessment from a professional HVAC specialist such as one of the certified technicians at AC Southeast.
When sealing your home, it’s also important to take ventilation into consideration. Relying on passive ventilation via outside air transfer isn’t ideal; it can raise your utility bills and make your AC system work harder than it should to compensate. However, your home does need some external air to mix with recirculated air for high indoor air quality. Your HVAC specialist can help you find ways to get fresh air without losing your cool during the summer.
Saving with Improved Ventilation
After weatherizing your home, your next step should be maintaining your ductwork. In homes with ductless air conditioning systems, this isn’t an issue, but most homes in the area still use traditional central AC units with ducts to channel air throughout the house. When these ducts are poorly fitted, lack insulation or have tears that allow cool air to leave them, your air conditioner can’t function efficiently.
Finding leaks and loose connections in your ducts, though, isn’t as simple as holding your hand to a window. To locate leaks, call a professional heating and cooling service that can monitor air flow through the system and check your ducts. If they find a problem, they can repair it quickly and improve your air conditioner’s efficiency on the spot.
Older AC systems may not perform efficiently even with proper care and maintenance of your ductwork. In some homes, the initial duct layout doesn’t provide even, comfortable cooling. When it’s time for a new AC system or improvements to your ducts, an expert installation team such as those at AC Southeast can advise you about all your options. A new system or better insulation could also qualify you for HVAC rebates designed to encourage more energy-efficient home cooling. From ductless systems to properly sealed and integrated new ductwork, your AC team can help you seal and save.
Written by Robert Koch