Whether you have recently noticed an increase in your electricity bill, or your energy consumption has always been above average, your HVAC system is the most likely culprit. Several factors could cause your air conditioning unit to work overtime, consuming more than its fair share of electricity.
You may need to consider making some repairs or investing in a more energy-efficient HVAC system to fix the problem. That being said, there are also plenty of free or low-cost ways to improve your HVAC system’s performance that we’ll cover below!
Why Is My AC Using So Much Electricity?
There are several things that could cause your AC unit to use too much electricity, but they all fall under three main categories.
Your Unit Is Getting Old
One reason your AC may be acting up is old age. As your HVAC system ages, so do the parts that keep it running. Even with regular maintenance and diligent, timely repairs, eventually, you’ll have to invest in a new energy-efficient central air cooling system.
The average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is about eight to ten years. With proper maintenance, you may be able to stretch that out to fifteen years or beyond if it’s a high-quality system.
If you’ve always had above-average electricity bills, or you noticed an increase after moving into a new home, an older AC could be the culprit. Older HVAC models are much less energy-efficient than newer models. If your AC is nearing the end of its lifespan, talk to your HVAC technician about the most efficient central air cooling systems available and do the math. It may be more cost-effective to swap out your unit now than to wait until the unit dies completely.
Trouble With Your Ducts
Sometimes the reason behind inefficiency and high bills is dirty ducts! When your ducts are blocked or dirty, you get less airflow through vents. This means it takes longer to cool your house, which runs the AC longer, using more overall energy. You’re also more likely to walk over to the thermostat and set it a few degrees lower to get the airflow you need to be comfortable.
This repeats in a vicious cycle until you get your jacked-up electricity bill. If you are constantly turning your thermostat down or your AC always seems to be running, you may need to have your air ducts cleaned. Contact a professional HVAC service to check on your system and/or perform maintenance on your units.
It Needs Maintenance
This is the most common reason your AC suddenly becomes less efficient—it’s in need of repair. Often, people assume that as long as it’s running, everything is fine, but your HVAC system requires regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it running at its best. It’s important that you have a professional HVAC service check to tune up your air conditioner at least once a year, although we suggest bi-annually with the change of the seasons.
Your AC is a complex machine with dozens of parts. When any one of those parts starts to wear out, it puts pressure on the rest of the system. Because it has to work harder to cool your air and function correctly, more energy is consumed, which pumps up your electricity bill.
Dirty or clogged coils, dirty air filters, and rusted or worn-down parts can all cause your energy bills to skyrocket.
Free and Low-Cost Ways To Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your HVAC System
These are things you can do on your own to lessen the load on your AC unit and lower your energy bills. They all make a minor difference, but together they can add up to noticeable savings!
- Insulate exposed ductwork
- Avoid using your oven or dryer during the hottest hours of the day
- Keep your blinds closed or tint your windows
- Make sure there are no lamps or heaters near your thermostat
- Vacuum your vents regularly
- Make sure furniture doesn’t block your vents
- Keep your outdoor condenser unit clear of debris
- Turn up your thermostat by a degree or two
How Much Does an Energy Efficient HVAC Cost?
The cost of a new, energy-efficient HVAC system will depend entirely on which model you choose. The correct model for your home or business will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The size of your building
- The size, number, and location of your windows
- The average temperature you prefer
- Whether or not you need specialty filters
- Your budget
However, no matter which model you settle on, it’s important to remember that your up-front costs will be offset by your energy savings over time. The most efficient heating and cooling systems available can cost up to 20-50% more than older or more basic single-stage models. In order to make sure you’re making the right decision, you should consider the “payback period” associated with your unit.
The payback period is how long it will take for your unit to pay for itself in energy bill savings.
Should I Invest in a More Energy Efficient HVAC System?
You may want to consider investing in a more energy-efficient AC unit if:
- You use your air conditioner at least six months out of the year
- You have problems with condensation or humidity
- You want to reduce your carbon footprint and make your home more eco-friendly
- You live in an area where temperature highs exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit
Energy Efficient Cooling Systems in North Little Rock
Looking for more information about energy-efficient HVAC systems and whether they’re right for you? Contact One Call Service to schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians!
One Call Service is here for you to help with all your heating and cooling needs!