You might not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s scorching hot outside—until you see your energy bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the standard U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re frustrated by paying too much for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly bills.
- Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. A yearly inspection also allows your serviceman to discover and fix any potential issues before they become severe problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of blockages: Loose dirt and nearby weeds growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, clipping back vegetation and cleaning up debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating effectively.
- Put in a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. In the warm months, program a higher temperature when you’re away from home and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This reduces electrical consumption and saves money without losing comfort.
- Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you could 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 have to modify the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will not cool your home any faster and only serves to squander electricity.
- Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to keep 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, reducing unnecessary power waste.
- Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your residence cooler. These strategies are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines directly inside.
- Install the outdoor unit in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So, if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s out of the direct sunlight in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a common misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms saves energy. The truth is, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC less efficient. As a rule, keep at least 80% of your registers open all of the time and ensure that no vents are obstructed by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans distribute air throughout the room, creating 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 uncomfortable, lowering your dependence on the air conditioner and lowering your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity fosters a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to routinely lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates extra moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- 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 reside in a place with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors during the night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the burden on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors allow hot summer air indoors even when closed, making it more difficult and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside of your home where it should be.
- Seal duct leaks: A regular home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air inside of it to leaks, holes and badly connected ducts. Hire a professional to seal your ductwork and stop this energy waste.
If you still have comfort issues or large energy bills after employing these tips, turn to San Antonio Air Service Experts 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 ease of mind, we stand behind every single thing we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Reach out to a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in San Antonio.