13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

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 expenditures and up to 70% of your utility costs during the summer. If you’re sick of spending too much 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 build up in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, replace 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 major problems.
    1. Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose dirt and nearby trees growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system working effectively.
    1. Set up a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
    1. Avoid overriding programmed settings: While you are able to bypass the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or removing a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you need to adjust 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.
    1. Use the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to prevent 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, preventing unwanted electricity waste.
    1. Block 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 inside.
    1. Install the outdoor part of your system in the shade: Direct sunlight can force your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
    1. Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in rarely used rooms helps you to save energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC not as efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open at all times and make certain no vents are obstructed by rugs, curtains or furniture.
    1. Use ceiling fans in tandem 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, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and minimizing your bills.
    1. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity induces a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to repeatedly lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, rather than cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
    1. Use natural ventilation carefully: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from leaking out. If you reside in in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night 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 indoors 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 of your home where it needs to be.
    1. Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and stop this energy waste.

If you still have comfort troubles or extreme energy bills after employing these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We are able to diagnose and repair air conditioning concerns, provide preventative maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a newer, high-efficiency model. For your ease of mind, we support every single thing we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Call a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in North America.

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