You might not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s scorching hot outside—until you see your power bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average U.S. home’s annual energy bills and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re frustrated by paying too much for air conditioning, practice these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenses.
- Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. An annual inspection also enables your technician to find and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose dirt and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning properly.
- Set up a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat helps 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 come back. This decreases energy consumption and saves money without decreasing comfort.
- 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 want to adjust the temperature, do so by only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will never cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to squander electricity.
- Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to stop 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, avoiding needless power waste.
- Stop 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 techniques 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 makes your system to work harder and decreases efficiency. So, if possible, position the condensing unit so it’s out of the direct sunlight in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a frequent misconception that closing the vents in unused 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 at all times and make certain no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans along 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 might allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling uncomfortable, reducing 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. In reality, you need less humidity, rather than cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates unwanted moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- Use natural ventilation carefully: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from leaking out. If you are living somewhere with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors during the night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the load on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to 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 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. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and put an end to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort problems or large energy bills after implementing these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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 security, we stand behind 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 Raleigh.