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13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Homeowners

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

    1. Prioritize routine servicing: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, exchange the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. An annual inspection also enables your serviceman to find and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
    1. Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose debris and nearby weeds growing around your air conditioner can restrict airflow and make the system work harder. Check the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating effectively.
    1. Put in a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat permits you to set automatic temperatures based on your routine. In the summer months, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your house or apartment 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 can always override 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 need to change the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any quicker and only serves to needlessly consume energy.
    1. Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to prevent 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, reducing needless power waste.
    1. Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, putting in outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your house cooler. These strategies are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines straight inside the house.
    1. Install the outdoor part of your system in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and lowers efficiency. So if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
    1. Keep your air vents open: It’s a common misconception that closing the vents in rarely used rooms helps you to save energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air equilibrium, making your AC not as efficient. As a rule, keep at least 80% of your registers open all the time and make sure no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
    1. 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 increase the temperature a few degrees without feeling hot, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and lowering your bills.
    1. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to repeatedly lower the temperature. In fact, you need less humidity, not cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier takes away excess moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
    1. Use natural ventilation sensibly: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to stop cool air from getting out. If you reside in somewhere with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors overnight to cool off the house naturally, reducing the burden on your air conditioner.
    1. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors let hot summer air indoors even when closed, making it much harder and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air in the house where it needs to be.
    1. Seal duct leaks: An average home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and shoddily connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and halt this energy waste.

If you still have comfort troubles or high energy bills after employing these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We are able to diagnose and repair air conditioning concerns, provide preventative maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a new, high-efficiency model. For your peace of mind, we support all the work that we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Contact a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in North America.

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