How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently
As the warmer months get closer, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without your energy costs soaring. The secret lies in using your air conditioning unit better. Follow these 12 simple tips and techniques to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, minimize energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Frequently altering the thermostat makes your air conditioner work harder, raising 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 in the house. Next, refrain from touching it. If you get overheated, remove a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without turning down the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees above your standard setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” it might be a good idea to consider setting up a programmable thermostat. This simple upgrade allows you to schedule temperatures based on your everyday routines, automatically adjusting the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and conserving energy when you’re not home.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it really should. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. Window coverings with light-colored backings are the most effective at reflecting sunlight.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and upping operating expenses. To prevent this, always keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and ensure that no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Running fans along 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, enabling you to set the temperature higher without losing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering produce heat and dampness. Turn on your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling workload. In addition, make certain your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to deter hot, humid air from releasing into your house.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
High humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while consuming significantly less electricity than using the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location influences its performance significantly. Installing it on your home’s north or east side protects 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 getting a screen to shade it. Just make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t impede airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and dishwashing lead to indoor heat gain, making your AC work harder. Completing these tasks at night when temperatures aren't as high reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A clogged 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 correct replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts lose significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spaces such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork increases system efficiency and brings down energy spending.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Regular tune-ups are crucial to keep your AC running properly. Employ 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 identify and fix potential issues before they become expensive problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Longmont
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on offering extensive AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Longmont. Our customers choose us again and again for our unparalleled knowledge and devotion 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.