How to Maximize Air Conditioning Efficiency

Learn about HVAC & Home Performance in Houston.

Smiling repair man working on an ac unit

March 12, 2013

Air Conditioning Energy Savings HVAC

As we get closer to another Houston summer you can expect your air conditioning costs and energy bills to start rising.  Two of the biggest issues when it comes to saving money on your energy bill are annual AC maintenance and replacing air conditioning systems that have outlived their lifespan. People often look for ways to improve their car efficiency but overlook the larger savings found in maximizing air conditioning efficiency.

Keys to Air Conditioning Efficiency

Annual AC maintenance has multiple benefits; it can increase your air conditioning efficiency and lower your home energy costs.  Every .01 inches of dirt on an evaporator coil reduces AC system efficiency by 5%.  A 10% refrigerant undercharge can increase operating costs by as much as 20%.  A 23% refrigerant undercharge could result in as much as a 52% efficiency loss.  Dirty air conditioning filters can decrease performance anywhere from 5 – 15%.  But lower energy bills aren’t the only benefit of regular maintenance.  Nearly 80% of all major air conditioning system failures can be prevented with regular maintenance.  So annual maintenance can not only save you money but it can actual extend the lifespan of your air conditioning system and keep it running as high as 95% of its original efficiency.

The typical lifespan of an air conditioning system is 10 years with proper annual air conditioning maintenance.  If you have not performed the annual maintenance your system may not be able to perform for the full 10 years.  Installing a new air conditioning system may be the better long term investment than trying to perform maintenance on an AC system over 10 years old.  Each year air conditioners improve in efficiency and depending on the age of your air conditioning system your cooling costs could be cut in half when you purchase a new system.