13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

You may very well not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s scorching hot 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 expenses during the summer. If you’re frustrated by overpaying for air conditioning, practice these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenses.

    1. Prioritize routine servicing: Dirt and debris collect in your air conditioner over time, reducing efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving pieces and more. An annual inspection also enables your tech to identify and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
    1. 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. Check the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and sweeping up debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning correctly.
    1. Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat permits you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the summertime, program a higher temperature when you’re away from home and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you get back. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
    1. Avoid overriding programmed settings: While you could bypass the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or shedding a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you need to modify the temperature, do so by only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to waste power.
    1. Use the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode moves air to prevent rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals advocate 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.
    1. Stop solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, getting 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 right inside the house.
    1. Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight causes your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So if you can, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
    1. Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms conserves energy. Unfortunately, this throws off the supply and return air equilibrium, making your AC much less efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make certain no vents are blocked by rugs, curtains or furniture.
    1. Use ceiling fans in conjunction 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 increase 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 influence you to frequently lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, not necessarily cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
    1. Use natural ventilation wisely: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from escaping. If you live in in an area 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.
    1. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors let hot summer air inside of the house 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 where it belongs.
    1. Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and shoddily connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and put an end to this energy waste.

If you still have comfort troubles or large energy costs after trying out these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We are able to diagnose and repair air conditioning issues, provide preventative maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a new, high-efficiency model. For your ease of mind, we support everything 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 North America.

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