You may very well not think twice about revving up the air conditioning when it’s sweltering outside—until you see your electricity bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the standard U.S. home’s annual energy expenses and up to 70% of your utility costs 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 bills.
- Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris collect in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a professional clean your unit’s coils, replace the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving pieces and more. A once-per-year inspection also enables your tech to identify and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of junk: Loose debris and nearby weeds growing around your air conditioner can minimize airflow and make the system work harder. Examine the unit throughout the summer, clipping back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating correctly.
- Buy a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. 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 decreases energy consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
- Stay away from overriding programmed settings: While you could manually change the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or removing a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you need to adjust the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature will never cool your home any faster and only serves to needlessly consume energy.
- Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to stop 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, avoiding unnecessary energy waste.
- Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing 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 in.
- Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and decreases efficiency. So, if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a often-held misconception that closing the vents in rarely used rooms helps you to save energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, 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.
- Use ceiling fans in tandem 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 turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling uncomfortable, dropping your dependence on the air conditioner and lowering your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity creates a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to routinely lower the temperature. In fact, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted 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 live in an area with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the burden on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to hot summer air inside 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 moving through it to leaks, holes and shoddily connected ducts. Hire a professional to seal your ductwork and put a stop to this energy waste.
If you still have comfort issues or high energy costs after implementing these tips, turn to Matz-Rightway 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 newer, high-efficiency model. For your confidence, we support all the work that 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 Long Island.