If you’re like many New Orleanians, your air conditioner is perhaps the most valued and hardest working appliance in your home. It makes those scorching summer days tolerable by cooling and dehumidifying the air. Choosing an air conditioner, then, is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly.
It’s a common misconception that a bigger AC is better. Sure, a large unit won’t have to run as long to cool down an average-sized home, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. If it doesn’t run long enough, it won’t have time to dehumidify your rooms. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a true measure of how much air conditioner you actually need.
Size isn’t the only factor that has an impact on the performance of your air conditioner. Your home’s energy efficiency plays a vital role in improving your AC’s life expectancy. A large, energy efficient AC will have to work just as hard as a small, inefficient unit if your home isn’t properly air-sealed and insulated. The first step towards keeping your home cool isn’t an air conditioner, in fact, it’s energy conservation. It’s energy waste, not the HVAC unit, that causes most uncomfortable homes to have high utility bills.
Because your HVAC unit makes up about fifty to seventy percent of the energy used in your home, it makes up a large portion of your utility bill. Your heating and cooling efficiency can be drained by 40 percent or more due to gaps and cracks around your heating and cooling ducts and throughout your home. In other words, the air that your unit is cooling is simultaneously being forced out of your home through leaks created by the unit’s ducts, which in turn allow more hot air in! Your unit has to work twice as hard to perpetually cool infiltrating air, and you have to pay twice as much for cooling the great outdoors.
Sealing your home’s attic and crawl space are two ways to prevent air loss, increase the comfort of your home, and lower your utility bill. Re-assess what your true AC needs are once you’ve taken these steps: you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you don’t need the heavy-duty, expensive air conditioning unit that you’d originally planned to purchase.
At Sunlight Contractors, we offer a free home energy audit with a blower door test that will allow you to see exactly where you’re losing conditioned air in your home. When we’re done, you’ll be prepared to make informed decisions about how to improve your home’s energy efficiency and to determine your actual AC needs.
Main Office: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 2323 Bainbridge St #110, Kenner, LA 70062 (504) 222-2082
New Orleans location: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 650 Poydras St, Suite 1400, Rm 33, New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 302-0058