You might not think twice about cranking up the air conditioning when it’s sweltering outside—until you see your electricity bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility expenses during the summer. If you’re frustrated by spending too much for air conditioning, follow these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.
- Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, exchange the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving elements and more. A once-per-year inspection also allows your serviceman to find and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose dirt and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Check the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system working properly.
- Buy a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your house or apartment and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you come back. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without losing comfort.
- Try to avoid overriding programmed settings: While you are able to 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 have to adjust the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will never cool your home any quicker and only serves to needlessly consume electricity.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to stop rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals recommend using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, reducing unwanted electricity waste.
- Stop solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing exterior awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your home cooler. These methods are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines straight inside.
- Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight can force your system to work harder and decreases efficiency. So, if you can, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a common misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms conserves energy. Unfortunately, this throws off the supply and return air equilibrium, making your AC less efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open all of the time and ensure that no vents are obstructed by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in tandem with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans move air throughout the room, generating 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 decreasing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity fosters a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to routinely lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, not cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier takes away excessive 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 stop cool air from escaping. If you reside 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 indoors 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 of your home where it needs to be.
- Seal duct leaks: A regular home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and put an end to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort issues or large energy costs after trying out these tips, turn to Bryant Heating & Cooling 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 confidence, we back everything 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 Windsor.