How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently

As the warmer months approach, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without sending your electricity bills through the roof. The secret lies in using your air conditioner more effectively. Follow these 12 simple tips and tactics to keep your AC in optimal condition, minimize energy consumption and save money.

1. Leave the Thermostat Alone

Repeatedly changing the thermostat makes your air conditioner work harder, raising energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To optimize 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 changing it. If you start to get hot, take off} a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without changing the temperature.

2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away

For optimum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees above your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” consider using a programmable thermostat. This easy upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your everyday routines, automatically adjusting the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and not wasting energy when you’re out.

3. Keep the Curtains Closed

Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your air conditioner to work harder than it has to. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. Window coverings with light-colored backings work the best at reflecting the sun’s rays.

4. Keep the Vents Open

Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating bills. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.

5. Create Airflow with Fans

Running fans in combination with your air conditioner circulates cool air more efficiently, making your home feel more comfortable while barely increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, permitting you to set the temperature higher without losing comfort.

6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air

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

7. Use a Dehumidifier

Elevated humidity levels make your home feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while requiring a lot less electricity than operating the air conditioner.

8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade

The outdoor unit’s location affects its performance significantly. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shelters the unit during the hottest part of the day 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 make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hamper airflow.

9. Save Your Chores for the Evening

Cooking, laundry and dishwashing cause indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Completing these tasks in the evening when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest hours of the day and saves energy.

10. Replace the Air Filter

A filthy filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so be sure to exchange it regularly to promote superior performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct 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 like the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and lowers energy costs.

12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance

Routine tune-ups are recommended to keep your AC running properly. Employ a certified technician to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This proactive measure extends your air conditioner’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to identify and fix potential issues before they become high-priced problems.

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

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