You may very well not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s hot outside—until you see your electricity bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s annual energy expenditures and up to 70% of your utility expenses during the summer. If you’re tired of paying too much for air conditioning, follow these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly bills.
- Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris collect in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, exchange the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving elements and more. A once-per-year inspection also makes it possible for your technician to identify and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose trash and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating effectively.
- Set up a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat helps you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. 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 lowers power consumption and saves money without decreasing comfort.
- Try to 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 need to change the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will not cool your home any quicker and only serves to waste energy.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads 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, avoiding unnecessary electricity waste.
- Stop solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, putting in outside awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your home cooler. These strategies are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines right inside the house.
- Install the outdoor components 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.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a frequent misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms conserves energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC less efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make sure no vents are blocked by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- 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 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 fosters a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may influence you to routinely lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, instead of 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.
- Use natural ventilation sensibly: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to restrict cool air from escaping. If you are living in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the burden on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to hot summer air indoors 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.
- Seal duct leaks: A regular 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 eliminate this energy waste.
If you still have comfort troubles or extreme energy costs after trying out these tips, turn to Golden Seal Service Experts 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 newer, high-efficiency model. For your confidence, we stand behind everything 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 Saint Charles.