2 Key Factors that Affect HVAC Efficiency & Be Sure Maintenance Includes Them

Published on: August 16, 2012

Maintaining the efficiency of your air conditioning unit is the first step in saving money on your various heating and cooling costs. The most expensive part of owning an air conditioner is not the installation and setup costs as many people would mistakenly believe. Although the installation may be the biggest upfront outlay of funds, the actual usage bill along with the maintenance that a unit requires is far more expensive over the long-term than the initial payout.

For this reason, savvy consumers on a budget should be looking to invest in a highly efficient air conditioning unit that will save them money in these ongoing ways. Many older HVAC systems, although much less expensive to install, are not worth the money that will need to be spent on air conditioning maintenance in its lifetime. It is much more effective for a home or business owner to start with a system that is highly efficient and make sure that he or she oversees the two key factors that affect the efficiency of an HVAC system.

The two biggest factors that affect the efficiency of an HVAC system are the refrigerants in the system and the air flow coming into the system. If these two factors are kept up to their optimal level, you can expect much less air conditioning maintenance for your HVAC system.

You should always have a licensed professional check these two factors whether you are calling for another issue or simply going through a routine maintenance (you are on a routine maintenance schedule, aren’t you?). The airflow and the refrigerant are not normal parts of air conditioning maintenance, so you must make sure to tell the professional to take a look at those two factors specifically.

Below are some of the things that you can do for your own air conditioning maintenance in relation to these two highly important factors for efficiency.


Refrigerant Is the Lifeblood of Your System

The appropriate amount of refrigerant in your air conditioning system is the first thing you must look for. If you do not have enough refrigerant in your air conditioning system, your system may be suffering a leakage. This has much more serious health implications than just a less efficient air-conditioning system, so if this is the case, make sure that you call in a licensed professional immediately.

Do not ever attempt to fix a refrigerant leak yourself. The chemical makeup of most refrigerant is highly toxic and must be handled in an extremely careful manner.

There is also the problem of too much refrigerant inside your system. You can think of refrigerant as the blood in your own body, carrying vitamins and minerals throughout the entire organism to keep it functioning. If there is too much blood, clogs and clots can form inside of the air-conditioning system and create a less efficient flow of materials through the system. This will invariably lead to higher heating and cooling bills for you as well as open the door for more expensive problems to take shape within your air conditioner.

In order to maintain the appropriate amount of refrigerant inside your system at all times, make sure that you always have your professional check the amount of refrigerant against the industry-standard when you have routine checkups done.


Clear a Path for the Airflow

There is also the issue of airflow into the air-conditioning unit as well. If you’re outside tower is being blocked by a lot of bushes or trees, not only will the airflow be more clogged coming into your air-conditioning unit, but it will also be more contaminated as well.

In order to increase the efficiency of your airflow into your air-conditioning unit, make sure to keep a 2 foot radius around your outside tower. This does not only include shrubbery that is on the ground but also branches that are hanging over your outside tower. If you have man-made structures around the outside tower that cannot be moved, try to reposition the tower so that it is in the center of any obstructing walls. Whatever your situation, increase the radius of clear air flowing into the outside unit.

This clearer, less contaminated airflow will set the stage for a much less overworked air conditioning system. The less that your system works overall, the less that you will spend on maintenance calls over the lifetime of your system. You will also notice that your cooling and heating bills are much lower than they would be if your system was less efficient.

If you suddenly find that your heating or cooling bill is higher than normal, you should look into these two main factors first. This kind of activity will occur most frequently in the volatile weather conditions of the extreme seasons.