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Miami’s summer heat and humidity can turn a formerly comfortable room into a sticky, miserable one. You could adjust the thermostat lower than it is, but that’s going to decrease efficiency and make your central AC work harder. 

May through September are Miami’s rainiest months generally. Plus, the temperatures climb well into the upper 80s in the day and upper 70s at night. It’s uncomfortable, and too much humidity in your home can trigger mold and mildew growth. It’s why an AC system needs to be set for optimal performance.

Before you overwork your system and drive up your electricity bills, take a closer look at your home’s ventilation. Proper ventilation can improve efficiency and performance.

Why Do AC Systems Work Harder in the Summer?

Before you get into why a system works harder in the summer, it helps to know how a central AC system works. Indoor air is drawn into the ducts where it travels to the evaporator coil inside the indoor unit. The evaporator coils are filled with a coolant that absorbs the heat from the air that passes over it. That air is now cooled and is blown back around the home.

At the same time as the air is cooled, condensation from the air catches on the evaporator coil and drips into the condensate pan where it goes to your outside yard through a condensate line. 

The coolant in the copper tubing travels from the evaporator to the outdoor condenser. The heat leaves the copper tubes. As this process continues, the coolant inside the tubing alternates from gas to liquid to aid in the capture and release of heat. 

For this process to be efficient, a lot of things need to happen, and ventilation is a big part of it.

The Value of Ventilation

If air isn’t flowing around the ducts properly, more humid air remains in the rooms. Humidity makes you feel uncomfortable, even when your system is cooling the air. This drives you to turn down the temperature, so your system works more. The harder it works, the faster the components like fans and pumps wear out.

Another issue with poor ventilation is that pollutants, odors, and allergens remain in your home. Your ducts have an air filter that captures tiny particles, and this requires the air to pass through the filter. If there are any leaks in your duct system, you end up with air returning into the walls and then your rooms.

When an AC system isn’t working as efficiently as it could, you end up with hot and cold pockets around your home. If you turn down the temperature, your system works harder and drives up your energy consumption, which also increases your bills.

How Do You Improve Ventilation?

What can you do to improve the ventilation within your home? Start by checking where your vents are. If you have furniture, curtains, or rugs in front of them, you’re preventing air from entering your room and being drawn out through the returns. When you sweep or vacuum, make sure you’re vacuuming your vents, too.

If you have a dry, cool night at all, open the windows and let the outside air come in. Cross ventilation is a good way to cool your home overnight without having to run your AC.

What can you do to improve ventilation?

Use bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to draw stale air outside. It also helps remove hot, humid air that’s created during showers, baths, and cooking.

Make sure you change your air filter regularly. If the filter is dirty and clogged, your system has to work harder to move the air. As your system works harder, energy consumption increases. You also run the risk of having components wear out and need replacement or maintenance, which is an additional cost.

If you have old attic insulation, consider upgrading it. It stops your cool air from escaping out of the roof. Plus, it keeps the sun from heating your attic space and upstairs of your home.

Circulate the air in your home using ceiling fans or floor fans. When your home’s air blows around, you’ll feel cooler. It also helps eliminate hot and cold spots.

Have your ducts inspected and cleaned periodically. If dust and grime have built up in them, they can restrict airflow. That makes your system work harder. If there are cracks or holes in your ducts, the air escapes into your walls, crawl space, or attic, which heats your home. You’re paying to cool your home, but it’s not happening.

If you haven’t had your central AC system cleaned and inspected by a licensed Florida AC technician, make sure you do. Saving money is great, but it can also lead to improperly sized AC systems. If a system is too big, it cools too quickly and cycles on and off too much. If it’s too small, it turns on and keeps running without ever cycling. Parts wear out faster.

Is It Time for a New System?

When you have a Miami AC repair and installation technician clean your system, ask about your current system’s longevity. All Year Cooling gives you honest answers. A good rule of thumb is to look at the repair costs. If you’re about to spend 30% of what a new system costs, it might be better to get the new system.

A new system is an investment, but there are several reasons why it’s worth it. You’ll qualify for tax incentives with the federal government and instant rebates with your Miami electric company. You still do have a substantial investment to make, but there’s another reason to consider the new system.

What is the new system’s SEER 2 rating? The higher the rating, the more you’ll save each month in energy costs. If you have an older AC system with a SEER 13 rating, a new system with a SEER 2 rating of 18 saves you about $400 per year. After five years, your savings are over $2,100. If you purchased a SEER 2 system with a rating of 22, you’d save about $350 per year. Over time, your system pays for itself.

All Year Cooling’s Miami and Southern Florida AC experts specialize in the AC technology you need to stay cool and keep your energy consumption as low as possible. Reach us online by chat or call us to schedule a free consultation. 

We are a participating independent contractor (PIC) for FPL. We’ll help you get an instant rebate on your new system and attic insulation.

All Year Cooling