How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently
As the hot summer months draw near, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without your energy costs soaring. The secret lies in using your AC more efficiently. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and strategies to keep your AC in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Constantly adjusting the thermostat makes your cooling system work harder, increasing energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To boost efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re in the house. Then, refrain from touching it. If you get overheated, peel away a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without turning down the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees higher than your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” think about installing a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to schedule temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically changing the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and not wasting energy when you’re not home.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it has to. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. Window coverings with light-colored backings work the best at reflecting the sun's rays.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Blocked or closed air vents throw off your AC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and upping operating expenses. To prevent this, make sure to have at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Running fans in combination with your HVAC system circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while barely increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, especially, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, enabling you to set the temperature higher without losing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering generate heat and moisture. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling burden. Also, verify your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your home.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Elevated humidity levels make your home feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excessive moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while requiring much less electricity than running the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location affects its effectiveness considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shelters the unit during the hottest part of the day for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest hours of the day, consider planting a tree or using a screen to shade it. Just be sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hamper airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes create indoor heat gain, making your AC work harder. Completing these tasks later in the day when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A filthy filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it regularly to promote maximum performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the ideal replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts lose significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned areas including the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and lowers energy expenses.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Scheduled tune-ups are crucial to keep your air conditioner running properly. Use an accredited technician to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This preventative measure extends your AC’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and fix potential issues before they become high-priced problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Cleveland
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on offering extensive AC services, such as installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Cleveland. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched knowledge and commitment to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Work with our friendly staff to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.