You may not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s hot outside—until you see your electricity bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the standard U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility costs during the summer. If you’re tired of paying too much for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.
- Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris collect in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving elements and more. A once-per-year inspection also makes it possible for your technician to identify and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose dirt and nearby plants growing around your air conditioner can restrict airflow and make the system work harder. Check the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning correctly.
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat helps you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you get back. This lowers electrical consumption and saves money without losing comfort.
- Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you could override 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 need to change the temperature, do so by only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will not cool your home any quicker and only serves to squander power.
- 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, preventing unwanted electricity waste.
- Stop solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing outside awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your property cooler. These strategies are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines straight inside the house.
- Install the outdoor part of your system in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and lowers efficiency. So, if possible, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms helps you to save energy. Unfortunately, this throws off the supply and return air equilibrium, making your AC less efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open all the time and ensure that no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans distribute air throughout the room, creating a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This may allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling hot, dropping your dependence on the air conditioner and minimizing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to frequently lower the temperature. In fact, you need less humidity, rather than 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 escaping. If you reside in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the load on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to hot summer air inside of the house even when closed, making it much harder and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air in the house where it is supposed to be.
- 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 eliminate this energy waste.
If you still have comfort problems or large energy bills after employing these tips, turn to Climate Control Service Experts for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning concerns, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your confidence, we support everything we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Call a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in Mobile.