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GYR Tips for Air Conditioning and HVAC

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Air conditioning is one of Florida’s greatest friends and greatest enemies.

 

Energy Star 

Air Conditioning Maintenance

To keep you unit running efficiently, and to prolong its useful life, create and follow a maintenance schedule.

Maintenance is the key to a properly functioning HVAC system. Maintenance not only keeps your unit running efficiently, it also can save you money by proactively uncovering problems that could lead to expensive repairs or drive up your energy bill. Change and/or clean air conditioning filters regularly -- in Florida, that means at least once per month. Consider a professional annual inspection of centralized units, or, reference the recommended maintenance checklist at the linked page. 
 

FSEC 

Therrmostate

 Make sure your home “envelope,” ceilings, air ducts, and AC unit are all properly insulated.

Insulation keeps your unit running efficiently so it will cool your home thoroughly and consume less electricity. But insulation has to be placed in the appropriate places for the climate. South Florida homes should be insulated according to South Florida guidelines. Sealing a home too much could stifle air flow and cause mold problems. The Florida Solar Energy Center is an excellent source of information for homes and other types of buildings. Florida Power and Light also offers information specific to Florida energy customers.
 
 Energy Star  Remove and replace window air conditioners.

If you have a window air conditioner, please consider removing it, as window units are comparatively inefficient and can be hazards during a hurricane. Follow the advice on this page for shading windows and utilizing fans to cool your room instead. If a window or portable unit is your only option for staying cool, upgrade to an Energy Star rated product, install it properly according to manufacturer recommendations, and have a plan for safely removing (and storing) the unit if a hurricane warning is issued. Newer room cooling units will have programmable thermostats, and also serve as dehumidifiers. Make sure the unit is sized correctly for your room.
 

ENERGY.GOV 

Thermostats

 Consider a programmable thermostat, and set the temperature properly

Programmable thermostats are mandatory under 2010 building code. A programmable thermostat is an upgrade suitable for any centralized system, and some newer room units allow for programming as well. This type of thermostat allows you to pre-set temperature according to a timed schedule, customize your settings for different days of the week, and helps to ensure that your system is not running when it is not necessary. The latest programmable thermostats even ”learn” as you use them. Remember, for every degree below 78°F that you set your thermostat you could be spending up to eight percent more in cooling costs.
 

Energy Star 

Centralized and Room Air Conditioners

 Purchase Energy Star-rated HVAC systems.

If your HVAC system is more than 10-years-old, or if your rooms do not feel comfortably cool, an update might be necessary. Consult a professional to be sure there are no system leaks and that your building is sealed properly. When you are ready to update, choose a high-efficiency Energy Star HVAC system. Energy Star-qualified central air conditioners have higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings, making them over 15% more efficient than conventional models. Florida Power and Light customers can also benefit from A/C buying guides, information and rebates that they provide.
 
 

 

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