You may not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s sweltering outside—until you see your electricity bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s annual energy expenditures and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re frustrated by paying too much for air conditioning, practice these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenses.
- Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A yearly inspection also enables your technician to find and fix any potential issues before they become severe problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose debris and nearby plants growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, clipping back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning correctly.
- Install 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 reduces energy consumption and saves money without decreasing comfort.
- Try to avoid overriding programmed settings: While you can always 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 have 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 needlessly consume electricity.
- Use the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads 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 needless power waste.
- Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, putting in outdoor 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 right in.
- Install the outdoor part of your system in the shade: Direct sunlight causes your system to work harder and decreases 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 helps you to save 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 all of the time and make certain no vents are blocked by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in conjunction 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 could allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling hot, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and decreasing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity creates a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to repeatedly lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, rather than cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier takes away extra 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 leaking out. If you are living in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors overnight 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 of the house even when closed, making it more difficult and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air in the house where it belongs.
- Seal duct leaks: A regular home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and stop this energy waste.
If you still have comfort issues or big energy bills after trying out these tips, turn to Winnipeg Supply Service Experts 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 new, high-efficiency model. For your ease of mind, we support every single thing 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 Winnipeg.