ducted AC systemEven the most energy-efficient air conditioning unit won’t do much to save you from exorbitant electricity bills if it isn’t installed properly.

In a recent study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States, it said that while many homes around the world use AC units with high energy-efficiency ratings, the actual reduction in consumption is low due to installation faults.

Faulty Installation Leads to Nowhere

The NIST report includes recommendations applicable not only for the US, but also for other countries around the world. One of the recommendations includes a push for more efficient air conditioners and heat pumps.

About 30% of electrical energy output in Australia and America is used for residential purposes. To significantly reduce this, people are using AC units and other appliances that have improved energy ratings. The study, however, says improved energy efficiency scores are for nothing if equipment are installed improperly. The report is also the first to actually quantify energy efficiency losses due to improper installation.

Leaky air ducts, unconditioned attic spaces, wrong sizing, and other installation problems “could increase household energy use for space heating and cooling on the order of 30 percent over what it should be,” says Piotr Domanski, the team lead for the NIST research.

A Problem the World Over

In Australia, energy consumption and the efficiency of heat pumps are increasingly important issues. Residential cooling and heating comprises a significant portion of the country’s energy output. It is also increasing electricity demands on many networks.

“Higher efficiency equipment is part of the solution,” Phil Wilkinson, CEO of the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning, and Heating (AIRAH), said, according to a report posted on Sourceable.net. He adds, however, that “Best-practice energy-efficient design and installation is the second piece in the puzzle.”

Australia-based HVAC company Conduct Air Conditioning explains a ducted AC system is beneficial for households provided everything is installed properly.

The heat is the top natural killer in Australia. Air conditioning units are then expected to run at full blast for extended periods, which will raise energy consumption in households. One of the simplest things you can do to help minimise energy usage is to make sure your AC unit is installed properly and running at maximum efficiency.