As the temperature reading moves towards 80 and it is still January... you can bet it is going to be a long hot summer. The secret to survival is staying cool and for those of us in Texas that means having your AC working at its' best.
The key to an efficient cooling system always begins by having an understanding of what is involved.
First of all your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system does not just add cool air. It actually removes the heat from the air already in your house. It "conditions " the air, which is why it is called an "air conditioner" rather than an "air cooler". It is during this process that moisture in the air (humidity) goes from a gas to a liquid creating condensate.
If you want to maximize your AC's ability to work efficiently, your unit needs to breathe effortlessly. Much like an athelete running a race... the outcome will be alot better if the runner does not compete while being strangled.
Vegetation around your condensing unit should not be any closer than 15 inches around the sides or 3-4 feet overhead. The closer the vegetation, the less air is available for the unit to condition. The closer the vegetation is the harder your unit has to work. The closer the vegetation is the more electricity is used .
Now is the time to take that stroll through your yard and take note of what needs to be done. If the vegetation around your condensing unit needs to be cut back. Do it!