How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently

As the hot summer 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 AC more effectively. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and tactics to keep your air conditioner in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.

1. Leave the Thermostat Alone

Repeatedly altering the thermostat makes your cooling system work harder, elevating 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 home. Then, refrain from touching 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 turning down 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 setting up a programmable thermostat. This easy upgrade allows you to schedule temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically adjusting the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and saving energy when you’re not home.

3. Keep the Curtains Closed

Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your AC run longer than it has to. To minimize heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows when the temperature is the hottest. 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 air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating costs. To prevent this, make sure to have at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are blocked by curtains, furniture or rugs.

5. Create Airflow with Fans

Utilizing fans in combination with your air conditioning system circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while barely increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, specifically, 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 create heat and humidity. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to lower your home’s cooling workload. Additionally, verify your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your residence.

7. Use a Dehumidifier

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

8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade

The outdoor unit’s location influences its operation dramatically. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades it from the afternoon heat for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest hours of the day, consider planting a tree or getting a screen to shade it. Just be sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hamper airflow.

9. Save Your Chores for the Evening

Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes cause indoor heat gain, making your AC work harder. Completing these tasks later in the day 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 filthy filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it on a regular basis to promote maximum performance. Many 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 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 increases system efficiency and brings down energy expenses.

12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance

Regular tune-ups are essential to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. 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 address potential issues before they become expensive problems.

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At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing we pride ourselves on offering extensive AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in the U.S.. 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 friendly staff to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.

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