Why Are My AC Utility Bills so High?
Air conditioners need of a lot of electricity. However, a loss in efficiency will cause unnaturally high electric bills in your Bay Area home and business which could be especially hurtful in these inflationary times. Duct leaks, dirty filters, low refrigerant, failing parts, old system, and lack of maintenance among others reasons can cause a sharp spike in the electric bills.
1. Clogged Air Filters
Air filters help in keeping the ducting, air handler and indoor coil clean. Debris will build up if the air filters are not replaced routinely. In fact, dirty air filters may restrict airflow as well. This may cause the unit to take longer for cooling the home. High electric bills are a result of increased run times because of overheating compressor and motor.
You should clean reusable filters and replace other ones at least once every 30 days or as per manufacturer specifications. Replaceable air filters have better air flow. Keeping the air filters clean is the easiest step you can take towards lowering your energy bills.
2. Leaky Ducts
The ductwork is responsible for distributing air throughout the home. It also plays an important role in maintaining the efficiency of the system. Duct leak can have a negative impact on the system’s ability to satisfy thermostat settings and distribute air evenly. Your air conditioner will need to run longer and harder to satisfy the thermostat with a leaky duct. This will result in higher electric bills.
3. Failing Components
An air conditioner has several important components, such as capacitors and motors. Failing parts will put a strain on the system and make it use more energy for keeping the house cool. Your system will become less efficient because of a reduction in production of conditioned air.
For instance, a failing condenser motor will not be able to remove heat from the house efficiently. The motor will need to run longer for satisfying thermostat settings. This will cause an increase in electric bills and eventually complete system breakdown.
4. Inadequate Refrigerant
Heat pumps and air conditioners make use of refrigerant for transferring heat and removing it from the home. Low refrigerant levels will not allow for efficient heat removal. It will make the unit run longer causing a spike in energy bills.
Leaks are the primary cause for low refrigerant in a system. This can occur in the coil system or line sets which are responsible for transferring the refrigerant. You should have a professional take a look at the system.
5. Poor Maintenance
Maintained systems are more efficient as compared to poorly maintained ones. You should consider preventing possible breakdowns by having an HVAC expert look at the air conditioning system. This is helpful in preventing high electric bills as well. Technicians have all the necessary tools for determining whether a system is running efficiently or not.
The technician will also suggest coil cleaning, surge protector, replacing motor, duct sealing and other measures for making the system run in a better fashion.
6. Old System
Older air conditioners are not as energy efficient as the newer ones. It is also possible that older air conditioners don’t work as well as a newer model would. They tend to use more energy for cooling a house. You should consider replacing the system if it is older than a decade.