You may very well not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s warm outside—until you see your power bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average U.S. home’s annual energy bills and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re sick of spending too much for air conditioning, follow these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly bills.
- Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, reducing efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A once-per-year inspection also allows your technician to identify and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose debris and nearby vegetation growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning correctly.
- Put in a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows 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 get back. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
- Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you are able to manually change 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 want to modify the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will never cool your home any faster and only serves to waste power.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to stop rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals say that you should be 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.
- Block 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 techniques are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines directly in.
- Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight causes your system to work harder and lowers efficiency. So, if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a frequent misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms conserves energy. The truth is, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC much less efficient. As a rule, keep at least 80% of your registers open all the time and ensure that no vents are obstructed 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 uncomfortable, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and lowering your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity fosters a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may influence you to frequently lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, not 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.
- 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 live somewhere 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 harder and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air in the house 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. Hire a professional to seal your ductwork and eliminate this energy waste.
If you still have comfort problems or big energy costs after trying out these tips, turn to Wesley Wood 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 stand behind all the work that we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Get in touch with a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in West Chester.