You might not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s sweltering outside—until you see your energy bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the typical U.S. home’s annual energy bills and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re frustrated by 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 collect in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving elements and more. An annual inspection also allows your tech to find and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose trash and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can restrict airflow and make the system work harder. Check the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system working correctly.
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your routine. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you get back. This decreases electrical consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
- Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you are able to override the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or removing a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you need to adjust the temperature, do so by just a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to needlessly consume energy.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode moves air to keep 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, avoiding unwanted energy 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 home cooler. These techniques are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines straight inside.
- Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight can force your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So, if possible, position the condensing unit so it’s out of the direct sunlight 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 balance, making your AC not as efficient. As a rule, 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 may allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling unpleasant, lowering your dependence on the air conditioner and lowering your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity creates a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to routinely lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, rather than 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 carefully: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from getting outside. 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 even when closed, making it more challenging 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 flowing through it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and stop this energy waste.
If you still have comfort troubles or extreme energy bills after implementing these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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 security, we support every single thing 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 Fort Lauderdale.