13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

You may very well not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s sweltering outside—until you see your electricity bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average U.S. home’s annual energy expenditures and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re tired of overpaying for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.

    1. Prioritize routine service: Dirt and debris collect in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving elements and more. A yearly inspection also enables your serviceman to find and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
    1. Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose trash and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Check the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning properly.
    1. Set up a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set automatic temperatures based on your routine. In the summer months, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you come back. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
    1. Avoid overriding programmed settings: While you can always manually change the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or shedding a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you have to modify the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will never cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to needlessly consume electricity.
    1. Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to keep rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals recommend using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, preventing unwanted energy waste.
    1. Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing 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.
    1. Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s out of the direct sunlight in the afternoon.
    1. Keep your air vents open: It’s a frequent misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms saves energy. The truth is, this throws off the supply and return air equilibrium, making your AC not as efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and ensure that no vents are obstructed by rugs, curtains or furniture.
    1. Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans distribute air throughout the room, generating a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This could allow you to increase the temperature a few degrees without feeling uncomfortable, lowering your dependence on the air conditioner and lowering your bills.
    1. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity induces a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may influence you to frequently lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, not cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier removes extra moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
    1. Use natural ventilation sensibly: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to stop cool air from escaping. If you live in somewhere with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors overnight to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner.
    1. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors let hot summer air inside of the house even when closed, making it harder and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air in the house where it is supposed to be.
    1. Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and stop this energy waste.

If you still have comfort issues or big energy costs after employing these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We can diagnose and repair air conditioning issues, provide preventative maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a newer, high-efficiency model. For your peace of mind, we stand behind everything we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Reach out to a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in North America.

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