13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

You may very well not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s sweltering outside—until you see your electricity bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the everyday U.S. home’s 12-month energy expenditures and up to 70% of your utility costs during the summer. If you’re frustrated by overpaying for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.

    1. Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving pieces and more. An annual inspection also enables your tech to find and fix any potential issues before they become severe problems.
    1. Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose debris and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and sweeping up debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating correctly.
    1. Put in a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. 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 reduces energy consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
    1. Try to avoid overriding programmed settings: While you could override the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or shedding a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you have to modify the temperature, do so by just a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will not cool your home any faster and only serves to waste energy.
    1. Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode moves air to prevent 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, avoiding needless energy waste.
    1. Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, getting outside awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your home cooler. These strategies are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines right in.
    1. Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and lowers efficiency. So if possible, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
    1. Keep your air vents open: It’s a common misconception that closing the vents in rarely used rooms helps you to save energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC much less efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make certain no vents are obstructed by rugs, curtains or furniture.
    1. Use ceiling fans along 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 might allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling unpleasant, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and minimizing your bills.
    1. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity creates 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, not necessarily cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier removes extra moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
    1. Use natural ventilation carefully: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from getting out. If you are living in 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.
    1. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors allow hot summer air inside even when closed, making it more challenging and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside of your home where it belongs.
    1. Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air moving through it to leaks, holes and shoddily connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and halt this energy waste.

If you still have comfort problems or big energy costs after employing these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We can diagnose and repair air conditioning concerns, provide preventative maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a new, high-efficiency model. For your security, we support everything we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Reach out to a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in North America.

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