You may not think twice about cranking up the air conditioning when it’s warm outside—until you see your energy bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re tired of overpaying for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.
- Prioritize routine service: 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 makes it possible for your serviceman to discover and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose debris and nearby trees growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning correctly.
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from home and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This reduces electrical consumption and saves money without losing comfort.
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: While you could 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 adjust 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 squander electricity.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to prevent rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals say that you should be 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 power waste.
- Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, putting in outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your residence cooler. These strategies 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 lowers efficiency. So, if possible, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a frequent misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms conserves energy. The truth is, 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 of the time and make certain no vents are obstructed by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in tandem 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, lowering your dependence on the air conditioner and bringing down your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may influence you to repeatedly 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 sensibly: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from escaping. If you live in an area with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors overnight to cool off the house naturally, reducing the burden on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to 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 poorly connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and put an end to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort troubles or large energy expenses after trying out these tips, turn to Peachtree 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 new, high-efficiency model. For your peace of mind, we stand behind 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 Atlanta.