You may very well not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s hot outside—until you see your power 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 overpaying for air conditioning, follow these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.
- Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, reducing efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, exchange the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A yearly inspection also allows your tech to discover and fix any potential issues before they become severe problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose debris and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system working correctly.
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your house or apartment and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This lowers power consumption and saves money without decreasing comfort.
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: While you are able to override the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or shedding a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you have to change the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any faster and only serves to needlessly consume power.
- Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to prevent 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, reducing unnecessary electricity waste.
- Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your property cooler. These methods are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines directly in.
- Install the outdoor part of your system in the shade: Direct sunlight can force your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So, if possible, 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 rarely used rooms saves energy. The truth is, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC less efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and ensure that no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans along 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 may allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling unpleasant, dropping your dependence on the air conditioner and lowering your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to repeatedly lower the temperature. In fact, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates extra moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- Use natural ventilation wisely: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from escaping. If you live in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors during the night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the load on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors let hot summer air inside of the house 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 needs to be.
- Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air inside of it to leaks, holes and shoddily connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and stop this energy waste.
If you still have comfort issues or large energy expenses after implementing these tips, turn to All American Air 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 newer, high-efficiency model. For your ease of mind, we support all the work that we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Reach out to a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in Daytona Beach.