How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently
As the warmer months draw near, 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 ideas and techniques to keep your air conditioner in optimal condition, decrease energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Repeatedly altering the thermostat makes your AC work harder, increasing energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To boost efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re inside the residence. Then, refrain from changing it. If you get overheated, take off a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without lowering the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees beyond your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” consider using a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and not wasting energy when you’re not home.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your air conditioner to work harder than it really should. To minimize heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. Window coverings with light-colored backings reflect sunlight the best.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your AC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and raising operating costs. To stop this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are hindered by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Running fans along with your air conditioner circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while slightly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to set the temperature higher without sacrificing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering produce heat and moisture. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling load. Also, verify your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to deter hot, humid air from releasing into your house.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Significant humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excessive moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while requiring substantially less electricity than operating the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location impacts its effectiveness considerably. 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 time of the day, consider planting a tree or installing a screen to shade it. Just ensure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hinder airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and doing the dishes create indoor heat gain, making your HVAC system work harder. Conducting energy-using activities like these later in the day when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A filthy filter restricts airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it routinely to promote maximum performance. Most basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the ideal replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts squander significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned areas including the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork increases system efficiency and brings down energy costs.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Regular tune-ups are recommended to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Use a certified professional to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This precautionary measure extends your AC’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to uncover and address potential issues before they become costly problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Nashville
At Donelson Air Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering extensive AC services, such as installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Nashville. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Work with our crew at to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.