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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 skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your AC better. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and techniques to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, minimize energy consumption and save money.

1. Leave the Thermostat Alone

Repeatedly adjusting the thermostat makes your air conditioner 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 in the house. Then, refrain from changing it. If you start to get hot, peel away} 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 maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees higher than your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” consider setting up a programmable thermostat. This simple upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your daily routines, automatically adjusting the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and saving energy when you’re out.

3. Keep the Curtains Closed

Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it normally would. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows during the hottest part of the day. Window coverings with light-colored backings are the most effective at reflecting sunlight.

4. Keep the Vents Open

Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating bills. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.

5. Create Airflow with Fans

Running fans along with your air conditioning system circulates cool air more efficiently, making your home feel more comfortable while barely 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 losing comfort.

6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air

Cooking and showering produce heat and humidity. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling load. In addition, make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your house.

7. Use a Dehumidifier

Significant humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excessive moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while consuming much less electricity than running 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 during the hottest part of the day for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest hours of the day, consider planting a tree or using a screen to shade it. Just be sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hinder airflow.

9. Save Your Chores for the Evening

Cooking, laundry and dishwashing create indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Doing these activities at night when temperatures aren’t as high reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.

10. Replace the Air Filter

A dirty filter blocks airflow and increases energy consumption, so switch it out 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 correct 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 areas like 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 crucial to keep your AC running properly. Use a certified professional to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This precautionary measure extends your HVAC system’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and address 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 unparalleled expertise and devotion 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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