13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

You may not think twice about cranking up the air conditioning when it’s hot outside—until you see your electric bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s 12-month energy costs and up to 70% of your utility expenses during the summer. If you’re tired of overpaying for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly bills.

    1. Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A once-per-year inspection also enables your technician to find and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
    1. Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose trash and nearby weeds growing around your air conditioner can restrict airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, clipping back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating correctly.
    1. Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat permits you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. In the summer months, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
    1. Avoid overriding programmed settings: While you could manually change the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or taking off a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you have to change the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any faster and only serves to squander electricity.
    1. Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to keep rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals suggest using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, preventing unwanted electricity waste.
    1. Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your home cooler. These strategies are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines right in.
    1. Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight causes your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So if you can, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
    1. Keep your air vents open: It’s a frequent misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms helps you to save energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC not as efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open at all times and make certain no vents are blocked by rugs, curtains or furniture.
    1. Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans move air throughout the room, producing a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This might allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling unpleasant, dropping your dependence on the air conditioner and bringing down your bills.
    1. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to routinely lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, not cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excessive moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
    1. Use natural ventilation wisely: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to restrict cool air from escaping. If you live in in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner.
    1. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors allow hot summer air inside even when closed, making it more challenging and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside where it needs to be.
    1. Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and put an end to this energy waste.

If you still have comfort issues or extreme energy bills after employing these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We are able to diagnose and repair air conditioning concerns, provide preventative maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a newer, high-efficiency model. For your peace of mind, we stand behind every single thing we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Reach out to a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in North America.

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