You might not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s hot 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 costs during the summer. If you’re frustrated by overpaying for air conditioning, try 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, decreasing efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving elements and more. A yearly inspection also makes it possible for your technician to identify and fix any potential issues before they become severe problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose dirt and nearby weeds growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, clipping back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system working correctly.
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat helps you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from home and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This decreases electrical consumption and saves money without losing 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 have to adjust the temperature, do so by only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will never cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to waste electricity.
- Use the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode moves air to keep rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals suggest using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, preventing unwanted energy waste.
- Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, getting outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your residence cooler. These methods are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines right inside.
- Install the outdoor part of your system in the shade: Direct sunlight makes 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 rarely used rooms helps you to save energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC less efficient. By and large, keep at least 80% of your registers open all 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 move 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, lowering your dependence on the air conditioner and minimizing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to routinely 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 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 at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the burden on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors let hot summer air inside of the house even when closed, making it harder and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside of your home where it should be.
- Seal duct leaks: A regular home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air inside of it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and put an end to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort problems or large energy bills after employing these tips, turn to Calverley 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 ease of mind, we support everything 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 Worth.