You may very well not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s hot outside—until you see your energy bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the standard U.S. home’s annual energy bills and up to 70% of your utility costs during the summer. If you’re frustrated by overpaying for air conditioning, practice these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly bills.
- Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A yearly inspection also allows your serviceman to discover and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose debris and nearby trees growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system working correctly.
- Set up a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your routine. In the summertime, program a higher temperature when you’re away from home and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you come back. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without losing comfort.
- Try to avoid overriding programmed settings: While you are able to override the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or taking off a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you want to modify the temperature, do so by only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will not cool your home any faster and only serves to needlessly consume energy.
- Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode moves air to prevent 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 energy waste.
- Stop 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 directly inside the house.
- Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So, if you can, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms conserves energy. Unfortunately, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC much less efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open all the time and make certain no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans circulate air throughout the room, producing a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This might 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 fosters a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to routinely lower the temperature. In fact, you need less humidity, rather than cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier takes away excessive moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- Use natural ventilation carefully: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to restrict cool air from getting outside. If you reside in an area with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors overnight to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner.
- 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 where it should be.
- Seal duct leaks: A standard home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and shoddily connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and put a stop to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort problems or big energy bills after employing these tips, turn to Pardee Service Experts for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning problems, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your security, we back 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 Charleston.