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Homeowner’s Guide to AC Efficiency

Oct 16, 2023 | HVAC Services

One of the most frequent questions we get from homeowners is how to maximize the comfort of their homes while minimizing utility costs. Improving the efficiency of your AC system can significantly reduce energy consumption, lower your energy bills, and contribute to a more sustainable environment. 

Let’s take a closer look at AC efficiency and explore ways you can optimize it in your home.

Understanding AC Efficiency

Air conditioning efficiency refers to how effectively your AC unit can cool your home for each unit of electricity it consumes. The efficiency of an AC system is determined by its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings.

The SEER rating measures the cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input. A higher SEER rating indicates greater energy efficiency. On the other hand, EER ratings evaluate an AC unit’s energy efficiency at steady-state operation during peak day operations. 

Put simply, both ratings provide homeowners with a gauge for AC performance and energy consumption.

The Importance of AC Efficiency

Apart from saving on energy costs, an efficient AC system is important to homeowners for several reasons. An inefficient AC system can lead to long-term costs due to frequent repairs and replacements. They also consume more electricity, which leads to higher carbon emissions, negatively impacting the environment — including the air you breathe and the water you drink.

By improving your AC efficiency, you can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and promote environmental sustainability.

Tips for Improving AC Efficiency

There are several measures you can take to boost your AC efficiency:

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly clean or replace your air filters to allow free airflow and reduce strain on the system. Depending on the system you own, this could range from every one to six months.

Professional Servicing

Have your AC serviced by professionals at least once a year to ensure it’s running optimally. (If you live in the San Antonio or Coastal Bend of Texas, Highland AC is here for you!)

Optimal Thermostat Settings

Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling costs will be. During the summer, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home and 82 degrees when you’re away. If that feels too warm for your liking, drop it one degree at a time until you find the ideal temperature.

Improve Home Insulation

Proper insulation prevents cool air from escaping, reducing the workload on your AC.

Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Models

If your AC unit is old, consider upgrading to an energy-efficient model that has a higher SEER rating. Most HVAC companies (like Highland AC) have financing plans available.

What About Energy Star Ratings?

Energy Star ratings are given to appliances that meet certain energy efficiency standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. AC units with high Energy Star ratings consume less energy, leading to lower energy bills for homeowners.

The minimum SEER rating for Energy Star–certified central air conditioners is 15. For room air conditioners, the minimum SEER rating is 14. Some Energy Star–certified air conditioners have even higher SEER ratings.

The Role of Professional Servicing in Maintaining AC Efficiency

Professional AC servicing plays a pivotal role in maintaining your AC’s efficiency. Experts recommend scheduling servicing at least once a year, preferably before the start of the cooling season. During a service visit, technicians clean the system, check for potential issues, and perform necessary repairs to ensure that your AC system is working efficiently.

Turn to Highland for Your AC Efficiency

At Highland AC, we offer complete HVAC services for homeowners throughout the greater San Antonio area. With extensive experience servicing thousands of homes, we’re dedicated to helping homeowners like you get the most out of their AC and heating systems. You can request service or get a quote.

We understand that every home is unique, and we tailor our services to meet your specific needs. Our team of professionals is ready to help you optimize your AC efficiency, lower your energy costs, and improve your home comfort. 

Contact us today to schedule a check-up for your HVAC system. Together, we can make your home more energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

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