You may very well not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s warm outside—until you see your energy bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re sick of overpaying for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.
- Prioritize routine service: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, exchange the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving pieces and more. A yearly inspection also enables your serviceman to find and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose debris and nearby vegetation growing around your air conditioner can restrict airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, clipping back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning correctly.
- Buy a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat helps you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the summer months, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you get back. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without decreasing comfort.
- Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you can always bypass 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 only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will not cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to waste power.
- Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode moves air to stop 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 energy waste.
- Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, getting exterior 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 directly inside.
- Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight can force your system to work harder and lowers efficiency. So, if you can, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a frequent misconception that closing the vents in rarely used rooms conserves energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC not as efficient. As a rule, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make certain no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans circulate air throughout the room, generating 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 hot, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and decreasing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to frequently lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier takes away unwanted 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 stop cool air from leaking out. If you are living in an area with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to 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 belongs.
- 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 put a stop to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort problems or extreme energy costs after trying out these tips, turn to Peitz 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 brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your peace of mind, we stand behind every single thing 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 Pierre.