How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently

As the hotter 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 air conditioning unit more effectively. Follow these 12 simple tips and tactics to keep your AC in optimal condition, minimize 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 boost efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re home. After that, refrain from moving it. If you get too warm, take off} a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without changing the temperature.

2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away

For optimum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees above your typical setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” it might be a good idea to consider using 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 not wasting energy when you’re away.

3. Keep the Curtains Closed

Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your AC run longer than it really should. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows when the temperature is the hottest. Window coverings with light-colored backings reflect sunlight the best.

4. Keep the Vents Open

Covered or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating costs. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are hindered by curtains, furniture or rugs.

5. Create Airflow with Fans

Using fans along with your air conditioning system circulates cool air more efficiently, making your home feel more comfortable while slightly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, specifically, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to set the temperature higher without sacrificing comfort.

6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air

Cooking and showering create heat and dampness. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling burden. Additionally, make certain your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your residence.

7. Use a Dehumidifier

High humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier takes out excessive moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while using a lot less electricity than using the air conditioner.

8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade

The outdoor unit’s location affects its effectiveness dramatically. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shelters it in the afternoon for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest part of the day, consider planting a tree or installing a screen to shade it. Just make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hamper airflow.

9. Save Your Chores for the Evening

Cooking, laundry and doing the dishes cause indoor heat gain, making your HVAC system work harder. Conducting energy-using activities like these at night when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest hours of the day and saves energy.

10. Replace the Air Filter

A dirty filter restricts airflow and increases energy consumption, so be sure to exchange it on a regular basis to promote superior performance. Most basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate replacement schedule for your product.

11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork

Leaky, uninsulated ducts squander significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spots in your home such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork preserves system efficiency and reduces energy spending.

12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance

Routine tune-ups are essential to keep your air conditioner running properly. Use a licensed technician to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This proactive measure extends your HVAC system’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to uncover and deal with potential issues before they become high-priced problems.

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At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive AC services, such as installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in the U.S.. Our customers choose us again and again for our unrivaled knowledge 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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