13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

You may not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s warm outside—until you see your power bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average U.S. home’s yearly energy costs and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re tired of paying too much for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenses.

    1. Prioritize routine service: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. An annual inspection also allows your tech to find and fix any potential issues before they become severe problems.
    1. Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose dirt and nearby weeds 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 operating effectively.
    1. Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your routine. In the summer months, 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 sacrificing comfort.
    1. Stay away from 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 have to adjust the temperature, do so by only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will never cool your home any faster and only serves to waste power.
    1. Use the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads 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, avoiding unwanted power waste.
    1. Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, getting outside awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your home cooler. These methods are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines directly inside the house.
    1. Install the outdoor part of your system in the shade: Direct sunlight causes your system to work harder and lowers 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 common misconception that closing the vents in rarely used rooms conserves energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC much less efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and ensure that no vents are obstructed by rugs, curtains or furniture.
    1. Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans distribute 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 unpleasant, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and decreasing your bills.
    1. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity induces a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to routinely lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, rather than 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.
    1. Use natural ventilation carefully: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to stop cool air from escaping. If you reside in in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors during the night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the burden on your air conditioner.
    1. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors allow hot summer air inside of the house 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 belongs.
    1. Seal duct leaks: An average home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air moving through it to leaks, holes and shoddily connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and halt this energy waste.

If you still have comfort issues or large energy expenses after trying out 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 brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your security, we back 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 North America.

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