You may very well not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s warm outside—until you see your electric bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s annual energy bills and up to 70% of your utility expenses during the summer. If you’re tired of paying too much for air conditioning, practice these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.
- Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, reducing efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A yearly inspection also allows your serviceman to find and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose dirt and nearby trees growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Check the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning properly.
- Set up a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set automatic temperatures based on your routine. 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 decreases electrical consumption and saves money without losing comfort.
- Avoid 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 only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to waste energy.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to prevent 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 electricity waste.
- Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing exterior awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your property cooler. These strategies 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 out of the direct sunlight in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms saves energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC not as efficient. As a rule, keep at least 80% of your registers open at all times and ensure that no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in tandem 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 might allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling uncomfortable, dropping 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 influence you to frequently lower the temperature. In fact, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excess 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 getting outside. If you live in an area with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors during the night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the burden on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors allow hot summer air inside 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 of your home 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. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and eliminate this energy waste.
If you still have comfort troubles or high energy costs after trying out these tips, turn to A1 Chesney 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 confidence, we support everything 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 Calgary.