One of the hidden costs of an AC unit is the replacement cost. While AC units should be built with durability in mind, it still is a good idea to do what you can to extend the life of your system. Consider for example that the more your AC runs, the more wear it incurs. Thus, if you take steps to improve the efficiency of your system, you can forestall the need to replace it.
Reduce Heat Gain
As soon as the sun peeks over the horizon, it begins a battle with your AC unit. The sun beating on your roof and streaming through your windows will heat up your home and create the need for your AC to start cooling your house back down. Some roofing materials will help to fend off the sun's attack. For example, metal roofing can decrease your peak cooling demand by up to 15%. To further reduce heat gain, you should have your windows covered with a reflective film because they will filter out UV rays, help to keep your home cooler, and reduce your cooling costs by up to 23%. Thus by protecting your home against heat gain, you will decrease your need to run your AC unit and prevent system wear.
Take Advantage of Evapotranspiration
As a liquids converts to a gas, the phase change allows the vapor to absorb heat from its surroundings. This is the process by which your AC unit cools the air in your home. It is the same process by which trees cool the air outside your home. Trees are constantly performing a process known as evapotranspiration by which they release water vapor into the air. This vapor can then absorb heat from the air, and this cooler air will settle onto what lies beneath. If you strategically plant trees around your home, they can help to keep your home cooler.
As your AC unit pushes air through your duct system, the flowing air creates outward pressure which will eventually create leaks. Leaky ducts are a silent threat to system efficiency in that they occur within the walls or attic of your home, so you are most likely unaware that they are there. Nonetheless, leaky ducts can decrease system efficiency by up to 40%. If you have exposed ducts in your attic or crawlspace, you can detect leaks with a stick of incense and repair them by using a putty knife to slather duct mastic on problem joints and seams. On the other hand, if you have enclosed ducts, you will have to hire a duct professional to make repairs.
If you do not take steps to improve the efficiency of your AC system, you will face higher operating costs, but you will likely also have to absorb the cost of premature replacement. Thus, it makes sense to do everything you can to improve the function of your AC system. For more information, contact companies like Universal Enterprises Inc.