As your air conditioner works hard to keep you cool during the summer, your environmental system also needs some help during the winter to keep energy costs down. Certain parts of Australia rely on the cooling effects of an air conditioning system all year round, while others use their reverse cycle air conditioners to fend of the cooling airs of winter.
No matter how you use your air conditioning system in the winter, it is important to take basic steps to keep your operating costs down and bring your efficiency up.
Change or Clean Filters
Some of the most basic maintenance items you can do to maintain efficiency and keep costs down include:
- Cleaning off dirt & debris from the return air intake grates.
- Clean or replace the return air filter.
- In the case of underfloor systems, moving furniture and other obstacles off of return air internal intake vents.
- Cleaning around the outdoor unit to allow sufficient airflow.
These seemingly insignificant actions will increase the efficiency of your air conditioning unit and save you money on operational costs. Filters are ideal cleaned or replaced just prior to the start of Winter & Summer.
During operation your filters can become blocked and restrict the flow of air through your system.
By changing your filters, you can make sure that your system is operating at peak efficiency.
Check the Ductwork
For any air conditioning system with ductwork, it is important to have the ducts checked for holes and loose connections. Some of the reasons your duct work is so important include:
Holes in the ducts and loose connections open what should be a closed system. When you open that closed system, you are losing a great deal of air leading to inefficiency and increased running costs.
Cold air that gets into the system can reduce the ability of your system to keep the house air warm. The system may no longer be able to cope with the increased load.
Having a certified professional check your duct work can be a good investment in keeping your winter operational costs down. A pro can also point out areas of concern that may not need service now, but may need service in the future.
Invest In Window Coverings
If your goal is to keep your costs down during the colder weather of winter, then you can help your ducted heating system by investing in window coverings like external shutters, awnings or insulated curtains. This is especially true if you have a lot of windows in your home.
The window coverings will prevent cold air from getting into the house and make it easier for the air conditioning system to circulate warm air throughout the house.
On those days when the sun is shining, you may want to open the coverings to let the sunshine in. Not only will you save money by not having to use your artificial lighting, but you will also benefit from the heating qualities of sunlight.
Bring in a Professional Inspector at Least Once a Year
There are a number of things the average homeowner can do to keep air conditioning costs down this winter, but it is also important to invest in an inspection by a certified professional.
At the beginning of each winter or during, you should have an expert look over your system and make sure that everything is operating as it should.
A professional inspection can turn up issues that can be handled quickly before they become costly problems.