You might not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s warm outside—until you see your electric bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility expenses during the summer. If you’re tired of paying too much for air conditioning, practice these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenses.
- Prioritize routine service: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving elements and more. A once-per-year inspection also makes it possible for your serviceman to identify and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose dirt and nearby trees growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, clipping back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system working effectively.
- Set up 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 residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This reduces electrical consumption and saves money without losing comfort.
- Try to avoid overriding programmed settings: While you are able to bypass the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or shedding a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you want to modify the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any quicker and only serves to needlessly consume electricity.
- Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to stop rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals suggest using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, reducing unwanted power waste.
- Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your property cooler. These methods are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines right in.
- Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight causes your system to work harder and lowers efficiency. So, if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s out of the direct sunlight in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms saves energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air equilibrium, making your AC much less efficient. As a rule, keep at least 80% of your registers open all of the time and ensure that no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans move air throughout the room, creating 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 unpleasant, dropping your dependence on the air conditioner and decreasing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity creates a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to routinely lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates 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 restrict 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 allow hot summer air inside of the house even when closed, making it more challenging 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 typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air inside of it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and eliminate this energy waste.
If you still have comfort troubles or extreme energy expenses after employing these tips, turn to Midway Services 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 new, high-efficiency model. For your security, we back every single thing 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 Clearwater.