13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

You may not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s sweltering outside—until you see your power bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the everyday U.S. home’s 12-month energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re tired of paying too much for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenses.

    1. Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving elements and more. A yearly inspection also allows your tech to discover and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
    1. Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose debris and nearby vegetation growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, trimming back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system working effectively.
    1. Set up a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat permits you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. In the summertime, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you get back. This reduces energy consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
    1. Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you are able to 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 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 power.
    1. Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates 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, avoiding needless power waste.
    1. Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, getting outside awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your home cooler. These strategies are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines right inside the house.
    1. Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight causes your system to work harder and decreases efficiency. So if possible, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
    1. Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms helps you to save energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC much less efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open at all times and make sure no vents are blocked by rugs, curtains or furniture.
    1. Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans circulate air throughout the room, creating a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This might allow you to raise the temperature a few degrees without feeling uncomfortable, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and lowering your bills.
    1. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity induces a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to frequently lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, not necessarily cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excessive moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
    1. Use natural ventilation wisely: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to restrict cool air from leaking out. If you live in in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner.
    1. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors allow hot summer air inside even when closed, making it much harder and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside of your home where it is supposed to be.
    1. Seal duct leaks: An average home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Hire a professional to seal your ductwork and halt this energy waste.

If you still have comfort issues or extreme energy expenses after trying out these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We can diagnose and repair air conditioning issues, provide preventative maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a newer, high-efficiency model. For your ease of mind, we back everything we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Call a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in North America.

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