You might not think twice about cranking up the air conditioning when it’s scorching hot outside—until you see your energy bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s annual energy expenditures and up to 70% of your utility expenses during the summer. If you’re frustrated by paying too much for air conditioning, practice these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.
- Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving pieces and more. A yearly inspection also enables your technician to discover and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose dirt and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating properly.
- Buy a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. In the summer months, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your house or apartment and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This reduces power consumption and saves money without decreasing comfort.
- Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you are able to override the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or removing a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you want to modify the temperature, do so by just a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will not cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to needlessly consume electricity.
- Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to stop 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, reducing unnecessary power waste.
- Stop solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your property cooler. These techniques are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines straight inside the house.
- Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and lowers efficiency. So, if possible, position the condensing unit so it’s out of the direct sunlight in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a frequent misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms helps you to save energy. The truth is, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC much less efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open all the time and make certain no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans along with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans move air throughout the room, creating 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 hot, lowering your dependence on the air conditioner and decreasing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity fosters a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may influence you to repeatedly lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates extra moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- Use natural ventilation sensibly: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to restrict cool air from leaking out. If you live in an area with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors during the night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the load on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors allow hot summer air indoors even when closed, making it more difficult and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside where it should be.
- Seal duct leaks: A standard home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air moving through it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and put a stop to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort problems or extreme energy costs after employing these tips, turn to Barlow Service Experts for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning issues, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your ease of mind, we back all the work that we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Get in touch with a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in the Wasatch Front region.