How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently
As the warmer months draw near, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without sending your electricity bills through the roof. The secret lies in using your air conditioner more effectively. Follow these 12 simple tips and tactics to keep your AC in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Repeatedly adjusting the thermostat makes your AC work harder, increasing 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 home. After that, refrain from touching it. If you get overheated, take off 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 above your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” it might be a good idea to consider setting up a programmable thermostat. This easy 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 not wasting energy when you’re out.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your air conditioner to work harder than it normally would. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows when the temperature is the hottest. 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 upping operating expenses. To stop this, always keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Utilizing fans in combination with your HVAC system circulates cool air more efficiently, making your home feel more comfortable while barely increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, permitting you to set the temperature higher without losing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering create heat and moisture. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling load. Also, verify your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your home.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Significant humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier takes away unwanted 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 influences its operation 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 time of the day, consider planting a tree or installing a screen to shade it. Just make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t impede airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and dishwashing create indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Conducting energy-using activities like these later in the day when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A dirty filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so switch it out regularly to promote optimal performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but its best to follow 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 spaces such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and brings down energy costs.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Regular tune-ups are essential to keep your AC running properly. Hire an accredited specialist 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 fix potential issues before they become costly problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Austin
At Strand Brothers Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive AC services, such as installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Austin. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched know-how and commitment to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Work with our friendly staff to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.