You may very well not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s hot outside—until you see your electricity bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the standard U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re sick of paying too much 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, reducing efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. An annual inspection also enables your serviceman to find and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose debris and nearby weeds growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating properly.
- Set up 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 residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you get back. This reduces power consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
- Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you could 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 modify the temperature, do so by just a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will not cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to squander electricity.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates 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 power waste.
- Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing outside 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 inside the house.
- Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight can force your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So, if you can, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in rarely used rooms helps you to save energy. Unfortunately, this throws off the supply and return air equilibrium, making your AC not as efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make sure no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in tandem with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans move air throughout the room, producing a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This could allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling unpleasant, lowering your dependence on the air conditioner and bringing down 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. In fact, you need less humidity, rather than cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier removes excessive 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 stop cool air from escaping. If you reside in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors overnight to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors allow hot summer air indoors even when closed, making it much harder and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside where it should be.
- Seal duct leaks: A standard home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and shoddily connected ducts. Hire a professional to seal your ductwork and stop this energy waste.
If you still have comfort issues or high energy bills after employing these tips, turn to Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning concerns, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a newer, high-efficiency model. For your security, we support every single thing we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Contact a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in Philadelphia.