Depending on where you live, various levels of poor air quality can affect the efficiency of your HVAC system.
High levels of airborne soot and debris cause buildup on the outdoor components of your AC unit, most notably the condenser coil. Did you know that only 1/100th of an inch of dirt buildup on your air conditioner’s condenser coil reduces its efficiency by 5 percent? Buildup causes your equipment to work harder to cool your building, and when it works harder, it uses more energy. This results in higher energy costs. Depending on how long you have gone since your air conditioner has been serviced, the buildup of dirt and debris on the condenser coils could be increasing your electric bill by as much as 30 percent. The condenser coil is a critical component of your air conditioner. Its function is to help expel heat from the massive amount of air traveling through the system. When a layer of dirt and debris collects on the condenser coil, it acts as an insulator that interferes with the transfer of heat. When the condenser coil can’t do its job efficiently, your unit runs hotter, longer and with higher pressure in order to provide the same level of cooling. In some cases, high levels of sulfur in the soot can even cause corrosion of the condenser coil’s tubes, leading to failure of the unit. It’s best to leave the job of cleaning the coils to a professional who is trained. Preventative maintenance to your HVAC system and making sure your condenser coils are clean will not only lower your energy bills, but increase the lifespan of your equipment.