You might not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s hot outside—until you see your electric bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the standard U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility expenses during the summer. If you’re frustrated by spending too much for air conditioning, follow these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly bills.
- Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris collect in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Make appointments for annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving pieces and more. An annual inspection also allows your serviceman to find and fix any potential issues before they become severe problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose debris and nearby weeds growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Check the unit throughout the summer, clipping back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system functioning effectively.
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat helps you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your house or apartment and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you come back. This decreases power consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
- Try to avoid overriding programmed settings: While you could override the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or shedding a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you need to adjust the temperature, do so by only a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any quicker and only serves to waste power.
- Use 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 unwanted electricity waste.
- Stop solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, putting in outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your residence cooler. These techniques are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines directly inside the house.
- Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight can force your system to work harder and decreases efficiency. So, if you can, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a common misconception that closing the vents in empty rooms helps you to save energy. The truth is, this throws off the supply and return air balance, making your AC not as efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make certain no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- 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 turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling unpleasant, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and minimizing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity causes a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may force you to frequently lower the temperature. In reality, you need less humidity, rather than cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- Use natural ventilation sensibly: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent cool air from getting outside. If you are living somewhere with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors during the night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the load on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to hot summer air inside even when closed, making it more challenging and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside of your home where it belongs.
- Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Reach out to a professional to seal your ductwork and eliminate this energy waste.
If you still have comfort issues or big energy bills after trying out these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning concerns, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your peace of mind, we stand behind everything we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Get in touch with a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in Edmonton.