How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently

As the hotter months get closer, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your AC more effectively. Follow these 12 simple tips and techniques to keep your AC in optimal condition, minimize energy consumption and save money.

1. Leave the Thermostat Alone

Frequently changing the thermostat makes your cooling system work harder, raising energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To maximize efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re home. Next, refrain from touching it. If you start to get hot, take off} a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without lowering the temperature.

2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away

For the most savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees beyond your standard setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” it might be a good idea to consider setting up a programmable thermostat. This simple upgrade allows you to schedule temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and saving energy when you’re away.

3. Keep the Curtains Closed

Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it really should. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows when the temperature is the hottest. Window coverings with light-colored backings are the most effective at reflecting sunlight.

4. Keep the Vents Open

Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating costs. To avoid this, make sure to have at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are hindered by curtains, furniture or rugs.

5. Create Airflow with Fans

Using fans along with your air conditioning system circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while slightly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, permitting you to set the temperature higher without sacrificing comfort.

6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air

Cooking and showering create heat and moisture. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to lower your home’s cooling workload. Additionally, verify your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your home.

7. Use a Dehumidifier

Elevated humidity levels make your home feel cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while using substantially less electricity than using the air conditioner.

8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade

The outdoor unit’s location impacts its operation considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shelters the unit from the afternoon heat for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest time of the day, consider planting a tree or getting a screen to shade it. Just make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hamper airflow.

9. Save Your Chores for the Evening

Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes create indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Completing these tasks at night when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.

10. Replace the Air Filter

A dirty filter restricts airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it regularly to promote maximum performance. Many basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the recommended replacement schedule for your product.

11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork

Leaky, uninsulated ducts lose significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spots in your home such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork preserves system efficiency and lowers energy spending.

12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance

Scheduled tune-ups are recommended to keep your AC running properly. Use a licensed technician to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This proactive measure extends your AC’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to identify and address potential issues before they become high-priced problems.

Request Air Conditioning Service in the U.S.

At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing we pride ourselves on offering extensive AC services, which include quality installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in the U.S.. Our customers choose us again and again for our unparalleled know-how and dedication to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Work with our crew to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.

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