How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently
As the hotter months approach, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your air conditioning unit better. Follow these 12 simple ideas and strategies to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, decrease energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Repeatedly adjusting the thermostat makes your cooling system work harder, increasing energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To maximize efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re in the house. After that, refrain from touching it. If you start to get hot, take off a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without lowering the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For optimum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees above your standard setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” think about installing a programmable thermostat. This simple upgrade allows you to program temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and not wasting energy when you’re out.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your AC run longer than it really should. To minimize 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
Covered or closed air vents throw off your air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating costs. To avoid this, keep 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
Using fans in combination with your HVAC system circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while hardly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, specifically, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, permitting you to set the temperature higher without giving up comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering create heat and humidity. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling burden. Also, make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your home.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
High humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier takes out excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while using a lot less electricity than using the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location influences its operation dramatically. Installing it on your home’s north or east side protects it from the afternoon heat for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest hours of the day, consider planting a tree or getting a screen to shade it. Just make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t impede airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes cause indoor heat gain, making your AC work harder. Doing these activities in the evening when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A dirty filter restricts airflow and increases energy consumption, so switch it out routinely to promote superior performance. Many basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but its best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the ideal replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts squander significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spots in your home such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and brings down energy costs.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Routine tune-ups are essential to keep your AC running efficiently. Employ a licensed technician to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This proactive measure extends your air conditioner's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to uncover and fix potential issues before they become costly problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Dallas
At Levy & Son Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, which include quality installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Dallas. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched expertise 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.