13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

You may very well not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s sweltering outside—until you see your electric bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the everyday U.S. home’s yearly energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility costs during the summer. If you’re frustrated by overpaying 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, reducing efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A yearly inspection also enables your tech to discover and fix any potential issues before they become major problems. 
  2. Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose trash and nearby vegetation growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning effectively. 
  3. Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. 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. 
  4. Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you are able to bypass the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or taking off a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you need to modify 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 squander electricity. 
  5. Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to stop rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals advocate using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, reducing unwanted electricity waste. 
  6. Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing exterior awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your residence cooler. These methods are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines right inside the house. 
  7. Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight causes 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.  
  8. Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held 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 not as efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make certain no vents are blocked by rugs, curtains or furniture. 
  9. Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans circulate air throughout the room, creating 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 hot, dropping your dependence on the air conditioner and minimizing your bills. 
  10. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity creates a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to frequently lower the temperature. In fact, you need less humidity, not necessarily 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. 
  11. Use natural ventilation carefully: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from getting out. If you live in somewhere with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner. 
  12. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to 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 in the house where it should be.  
  13. Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and halt this energy waste. 

If you still have comfort troubles or extreme energy bills 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 stand behind everything 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 North America. 

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