You might not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s scorching hot outside—until you see your electric bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re tired of spending too much for air conditioning, follow these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenses.
- Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A yearly inspection also enables your serviceman to discover and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose dirt and nearby plants growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system working effectively.
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the warm months, program a higher temperature when you’re away from home and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This decreases power consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: While you could bypass 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 will never cool your home any faster and only serves to waste energy.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to prevent 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 needless electricity waste.
- Block 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 strategies are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines directly inside the house.
- Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight causes your system to work harder and decreases efficiency. So, if you can, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms conserves energy. The truth is, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC less efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make sure no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans circulate air throughout the room, producing 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 uncomfortable, dropping your dependence on the air conditioner and decreasing your bills.
- 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 fact, you need less humidity, rather than cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier takes away extra moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- Use natural ventilation wisely: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to restrict cool air from leaking out. If you are living in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors overnight to cool off the house naturally, reducing the load on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors let 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 inside where it should be.
- Seal duct leaks: A standard home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing 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 issues or high energy expenses after employing these tips, turn to Eveready Service Experts for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning problems, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your ease of mind, we back every single thing 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 Richmond.