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 your energy costs soaring. The secret lies in using your air conditioner more effectively. Follow these 12 simple tips and techniques to keep your air conditioner in optimal condition, minimize energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Constantly changing the thermostat makes your AC 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, 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 usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” think about installing a programmable thermostat. This easy upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your daily routines, automatically adjusting 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 makes your AC run longer than it has to. To reduce heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows during the hottest part of the day. Window coverings with light-colored backings are the most effective at reflecting sunlight.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Blocked or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating costs. To prevent this, always keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are blocked by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Using fans in combination with your air conditioner circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while barely increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, enabling you to set the temperature higher without giving up comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering generate heat and humidity. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling load. Additionally, make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your house.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Significant humidity levels make your home feel cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier takes out unwanted moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while requiring a lot less electricity than running the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location impacts its effectiveness considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades the unit during the hottest part of the day for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest time of the day, consider planting a tree or installing a screen to shade it. Just ensure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hinder 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 in the evening when temperatures aren't as high reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A dirty filter blocks airflow and increases energy consumption, so switch it out on a regular basis to promote optimal performance. Many basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate 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 spots in your home such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and lowers energy costs.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Regular tune-ups are essential to keep your AC running properly. Hire an accredited specialist to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This precautionary measure extends your air conditioner's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and fix potential issues before they become expensive problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Waukegan
At Robinson Service Experts , we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, such as installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Waukegan. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched knowledge and dedication 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.