You might not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s warm outside—until you see your power bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility costs during the summer. If you’re tired of overpaying for air conditioning, follow these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenses.
- Prioritize routine service: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, exchange the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving pieces and more. A once-per-year inspection also makes it possible for your serviceman to discover and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose dirt and nearby trees growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system working correctly.
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat helps you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. In the summertime, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your house or apartment and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you come back. This lowers energy consumption and saves money without losing comfort.
- Try to avoid overriding programmed settings: While you could manually change the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or removing a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you have to change the temperature, do so by just a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will never cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to needlessly consume electricity.
- Use the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to stop rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals say that you should be using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, avoiding needless electricity waste.
- Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, getting exterior awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your home cooler. These techniques are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines straight in.
- Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and decreases efficiency. So, if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a common misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms saves energy. Unfortunately, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC less efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open all of the time and ensure that no vents are obstructed by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in tandem with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans move air throughout the room, producing a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This may allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling hot, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and minimizing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to frequently lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, not cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- 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 are living in an area with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the load on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors let hot summer air inside of the house even when closed, making it more difficult and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside where it is supposed to be.
- Seal duct leaks: A standard home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air moving through it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and put a stop to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort troubles or high energy expenses after implementing these tips, turn to Finch Air Conditioning & Heating for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning issues, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your security, we support every single thing 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 Kingwood.