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Keep Your High Efficiency A/C at its Peak: Factors That Should Be in Place

Keep Your High Efficiency A/C at its Peak: Factors That Should Be in Place

Keep Your High Efficiency A/C at its Peak: Factors That Should Be in PlaceIf you invest in a high efficiency A/C, you want to ensure that certain factors are in place to enjoy the greatest possible energy savings and comfort in your home. Here are four factors to address if your energy bills and home comfort aren’t where you think they should be.


Without the recommended airflow of 400 cfm per ton, efficiency suffers. Poor airflow is caused by:

  • Low fan speed
  • Undersized ducts
  • Poor duct layout
  • Restricted registers
  • Mismatched air handler and outdoor equipment

Hire a qualified professional to measure the airflow of your high efficiency A/C to see if it’s within the ideal range. If it’s not, the technician can make the necessary adjustments.

Refrigerant charge

Approximately 70 percent of newly installed high efficiency A/C systems are charged incorrectly. This puts a significant damper on energy efficiency. Add potential refrigerant leaks to this problem and you have an 18 SEER air conditioner operating at 16 SEER or lower efficiency.

To avoid these problems, hire a knowledgeable professional to complete the installation and schedule annual preventative maintenance to check for and fix refrigerant leaks.

Duct tightness

The only way a high efficiency A/C can perform at its peak potential is if the delivery system is efficient as well. Ducts in the average home leak about 35 percent of the air traveling through them. That’s enough to knock the SEER rating down by two or three points!

The next time a technician stops by to perform maintenance, make sure they check the ductwork for leaks and make repairs with approved materials, such as duct mastic.

Equipment size

If you spend the extra money for a 16 SEER unit but it’s oversized by 50 percent, you might as well just have settled for the 15 SEER model. Don’t hire a contractor who skips formal sizing methods unless you want efficiency to drop. Oversized equipment also:

  • Costs more to purchase
  • Causes excess humidity to build up
  • Wears out faster due to frequent cycling

To learn more about choosing and operating a high efficiency A/C in your Pasadena home, please contact Air-Tro, Inc. today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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