If you have been paying too much to heat or cool your home, installing a new AC unit is a good idea. After all, modern AC units are hugely more efficient than their counterparts from even a few years ago. On the other hand, an AC unit is only one of the components that helps to keep your home cool. For the lowest cooling costs, you should install not just an AC unit, but you should also take care of any problems with your duct system and take steps to reduce heat gain.
As air rushes through your duct system, it exerts outward pressure on the walls of your ducts. Over time this pressure can compromise the seams at the joints in your ducts. Pressure can even cause the seams to fail, which then allows air to leak out. An AC system must be sized properly in order to cool a home effectively. When leaks in your duct system syphon off air, it means that there is a smaller volume of air available to cool your home, and your AC system has to work harder and longer than it should have to cool your home. In fact, leaky ducts can reduce AC efficiency by up to 40%. Thus, if you have an older duct system, you should have them inspected and then repaired as necessary.
Leaky ducts are only one of the problems that can compromise the efficiency of your cooling system. If you have a problem with heat gain, your home might heat up as fast or faster than your AC unit can cool it back down again. Windows are one of the main problem spots in your home. Experts estimate that up to 30% of the heat that enters your home enters through your windows. Installing window film will filter out the sun's UV rays before they have the opportunity to heat up your home and can reduce your cooling costs by up to 23%.
If you are going to spend the money on a brand new AC unit, you want to make sure that you get the most value for your money that you can. You might not think that you ducts or your windows have much of an affect on your cooling costs, but they do. As you consider upgrading your windows and repairing your ducts, just remember that any steps you take to improve the efficiency of your home's cooling system and/or its insulation envelope are steps toward savings. Contact a company like D & W Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. for more info.