Posted on July 28th, 2017
The Effects of High Temperatures on Your AC
In Utah, we have had one of the hottest summers with severe heat waves. With streaks of hot weather averaging above 90 degrees since the beginning of June, you are probably already feeling some of the effects of the extreme heat.
Not only will you feel the effects when you take the kids to the park, but your air conditioner will experience it while you’re cooling off at home.
Air conditioners are a type of “heat pump”. That means they transfer heat from one place to another (from inside your house to outside). Normally, heat travels from a hotter area to cooler area so it naturally enters your home on a hot day. The air conditioner works to remove this heat and discharges it to the air outside.
The hotter the outdoor temperature, the harder your AC has to work. One of the effects of high heat is a drop in efficiency.
Your air conditioner efficiency drops when it has to work harder to cool your home, costing you money as your electricity consumption rises.
Since your air conditioner has to work harder and longer, it’s inevitable that the lifespan of the unit will be reduced. Moving parts like the fan motor and compressor components burn out quicker and your AC needs more thorough maintenance to reduce and postpone total failure.
To help improve your air conditioner’s performance locate your outdoor air conditioner in a shady area, preferably with trees nearby, and that will allow it to run at a cooler temperature than the surrounding air. Setting the temperature inside your home to a slightly higher temperature, like 76°F (24°C) instead of the usual 72°F (22°C), will allow your unit to work less. If it’s still too warm, combine your air conditioner with other means of cooling, like a standing fan or ice packs.
If your unit is close to its end of life, consider replacing it sooner. You will have the benefit of a unit that’s more efficient and will reduce the risk of sudden failure on the hottest day.
Keep your AC in the best shape
Give us a call at Western Heating & Air Conditioning if you need us to assess whether your air conditioner can handle the heat this summer. Utah’s Most Wanted Techs are ready to help keep you cool during the worst of heat waves that are yet to come.
Posted on July 13th, 2017
Tired of seeing a sharp increase in your energy bill? According to a study by The Demand Institute, American household spending on electricity has grown an average of 56% since 2000. According to the same report, 71% of American home owners say a home’s energy efficiency is important. 67% of the study has taken some measure to increase efficiency, but only 35% were satisfied with the results. It now seems that going green is no longer only about sustainable living, but also lowering energy cost as well.
So, suppose you’ve seen the light and have taken action to go as green as heating and cooling technology allows. You’ve insulated your home to the hilt, installed the highest efficiency HVAC equipment, and coupled it with a programmable thermostat. You’ve had your home zoned to suit characteristics of different rooms, sealed all the leaks in your duct-work, and made sure your refrigerant is fully charged. Your home is set for maximum energy efficiency, well, maybe.
A recent study by Michigan State University’s School of Planning, Design and Construction determined that energy-efficient technology is only as effective as the people using it. MSU researchers found that personal habits can waste even more energy than technology can save. The researchers collected data from 320 certified green residential units and calculated that around 43% of energy efficiency is determined by the equipment used. The rest owes to occupant behavior. Here are examples of the various ways you can become more energy efficient:
Most residents set their thermostat to 68 degrees during hot weather, or even lower depending on the humidity. Instead, set your air conditioners at 72 degrees to achieve its highest efficiency.
Open windows also diminish energy efficiency, whether done intentionally to “let in fresh air” or inadvertently because someone forgot to close them. There is no harm done if your HVAC equipment is turned off, but many have discovered their furnace or heat pump is running with the windows cracked open. The greenest HVAC technology known to man cannot hope to efficiently cool or heat the outdoors!
Use fans (in summertime) and space heaters (in cold weather) to reduce the burden on your furnace and compressor. This is especially useful if a system is imbalanced. Rather than cranking up the A/C to cool the hottest spot in your home, a ceiling fan can do the job; a space heater might be called for in that household nook far away from a furnace register.
Energy savings also can be achieved by running dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers at off-peak hours. Many modern appliances are equipped with time-delay settings that make this easy to do. Western Heating & Air Conditioning can help you select, install, and maintain an HVAC system to provide maximum comfort and energy efficiency. However, your lifestyle and commitment to green living will ultimately help you reach the highest savings potential.