How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently

As the hotter months approach, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your air conditioning unit better. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and techniques to keep your AC in optimal condition, minimize energy consumption and save money.

1. Leave the Thermostat Alone

Repeatedly changing the thermostat makes your AC work harder, elevating 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 in the house. Then, refrain from moving it. If you get overheated, remove} 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 optimum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees higher than your standard setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” think about setting up a programmable thermostat. This easy upgrade allows you to program temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and conserving energy when you’re out.

3. Keep the Curtains Closed

Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your AC run longer than it normally would. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows during the hottest part of the day. Window coverings with light-colored backings work the best at reflecting the sun’s rays.

4. Keep the Vents Open

Blocked or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating costs. To stop this, always keep 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 HVAC system circulates cool air more efficiently, making your home feel more comfortable while slightly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, especially, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, enabling you to set the temperature higher without sacrificing comfort.

6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air

Cooking and showering generate heat and dampness. Turn on your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to lower your home’s cooling burden. Also, ensure that your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your house.

7. Use a Dehumidifier

Elevated humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to lower the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while consuming significantly less electricity than operating the air conditioner.

8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade

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

9. Save Your Chores for the Evening

Cooking, laundry and dishwashing create indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Doing these activities in the evening when temperatures aren’t as high reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.

10. Replace the Air Filter

A dirty filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so be sure to exchange it routinely to promote superior performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate replacement schedule for your product.

11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork

Leaky, uninsulated ducts waste significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spots in your home including the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and brings down energy expenses.

12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance

Routine tune-ups are crucial to keep your AC running efficiently. Use a certified professional to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This preventative measure extends your air conditioner’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and deal with potential issues before they become high-priced problems.

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

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