How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently

As the hot summer 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 AC more efficiently. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and techniques to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, decrease energy consumption and save money.

1. Leave the Thermostat Alone

Frequently altering the thermostat makes your AC work harder, elevating energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To optimize efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re home. Then, refrain from moving it. If you start to get hot, remove} 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 optimum 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 installing a programmable thermostat. This easy upgrade allows you to program temperatures based on your daily routines, automatically adjusting the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and conserving energy when you’re out.

3. Keep the Curtains Closed

Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your AC run longer than it really should. To reduce 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

Blocked or closed air vents throw off your AC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and upping operating expenses. To prevent this, make sure to have at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and ensure that no return vents are hindered by curtains, furniture or rugs.

5. Create Airflow with Fans

Utilizing fans in combination with your air conditioner circulates cool air more, making your home feel more comfortable while hardly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, especially, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, permitting you to set the temperature higher without giving up comfort.

6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air

Cooking and showering create heat and dampness. Turn on your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to lower your home’s cooling load. Additionally, make certain your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your home.

7. Use a Dehumidifier

High humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier takes away unwanted moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while using significantly less electricity than operating the air conditioner.

8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade

The outdoor unit’s location affects its performance considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side protects the unit from the afternoon heat for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest part of the day, consider planting a tree or using 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 cause indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Doing these activities 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 dirty filter restricts airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it regularly to promote maximum performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate 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 areas such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork preserves system efficiency and reduces energy expenses.

12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance

Scheduled tune-ups are essential to keep your air conditioning system running properly. Use a licensed professional to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This preventative measure extends your air conditioner’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and fix potential issues before they become expensive problems.

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At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, such as 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 crew to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.

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