If your cooling costs are getting out of hand, it is a great idea to buy a new, highly efficient AC system. On the other hand, your AC unit is just one element of your home's defenses against heat gain. In order to reduce your cooling costs as much as possible, you must also be willing to address other components of your home, including your ducts and windows.
The Problem with Ducts
As air from your AC unit flows through your ducts, it does not just flow forward. Instead, it tries to flow in every direction. This means that it exerts outward pressure on your duct system, and because the walls of your ducts resist, the air then has to flow forward. Over time, the outward pressure created by the air flowing through your ducts can undermine the seals at the joints in your ducts. When this happens, air can leak out of your ducts, thus decreasing the volume of air available to cool your home. In fact, leaky ducts can decrease your air conditioner's efficiency by up to 40%. If your ducts are hidden behind the drywall in your home, you will have to hire a duct expert to inspect your ducts and repair them as necessary.
The Role that Windows Play
The problem with windows is not so much that cold air can leak around your windows. Instead, the sun's UV rays can stream right through your windows and then heat up the interior surfaces of your home. Once these surfaces heat up, they heat the air in your home. This is known as heat gain. To decrease heat gain without cutting off your view of the outside world, you should install a reflective window film. This film will act as a filter to deflect and thus remove the sun's UV rays before they have a chance to heat up your home. The right window film can reduce your cooling costs by up to 23%.
When you set out to reduce cooling costs, it is important to look at every component of your home's defenses against heat gain. The system that produces cold air is just as important as the system that delivers that cool air to you home. Likewise, your home's insulation envelope plays a key role, and windows are a perennial weak spot of the insulation envelope. While your ability to reduce your home's cooling costs will vary depending on your location and the individual characteristics of your home, any steps you take to rein in your cooling costs will be worth it over the long run. Talk to a company like Action Air of Florida to learn more about how to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system.