July 17, 2023
Learn how to use your air conditioner efficiently this summer to help avoid a large utility bill.
Your air conditioning system could account for about 12% of your total annual home energy expenditures and up to 70% during the hotter summer months. The HVAC is the biggest energy user in your entire house.
Follow these tips for using your air conditioner efficiently:
If cool air is escaping your home, you are using your air conditioner inefficiently. Your utility bill will be higher in general, and your air conditioner will run more than would otherwise be needed.
Prevent cool air from escaping around windows, doors, and into your attic by checking and repairing seals. Keep doors and windows closed. If you want to air out your home, turn your air conditioner off first.
One of the simplest tips for using your air conditioner efficiently is to raise your thermostat a few degrees. This lets your air conditioner work less while still keeping you comfortable. Consider a programmable thermostat so you can easily cool your home only when needed.
If you have a time-enabled thermostat, you can even set it to get warmer in the middle of the night so you can fall asleep comfortably and still wake up feeling refreshed. Even a small window of time when you use less A/C will make a difference on your energy bill.
Keep heat away from your thermostat
To use your air conditioner efficiently, make sure appliances that produce heat are not near your thermostat. If your thermostat is in a hot part of your home, your air conditioner will be on longer than it needs to be. Your thermostat may need to be moved if it was installed near a sunny window or next to an appliance, otherwise, your cooling costs will be high. You can also try increasing the temperature on your thermostat.
Keeping your vents free of debris is one of the best ways to boost your air conditioner’s efficiency. Check for dirt, dust, and pet hair around vents and replace air filters if you use them. Make sure vents are not blocked by furniture, rugs, or other items. Have the ducts cleaned regularly.
Avoid using your oven or dryer on hot days to stop your air conditioner from having to work harder to compensate for the heat they create.
Consider zoning controls so each room can be at its optimal temperature. By controlling the temperature like this, you can actually improve the efficiency of your system,
Close your blinds or curtains during the day to keep the sun out and reduce how much heat comes into your home. You can reopen them when you come home from work in the late afternoon.
Changing the filter is an important part of using your air conditioner efficiently. A dirty filter will reduce the air quality in your home and will make your A/C unit worker harder. Keeping the filter clean can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
Clean the condenser unit and create shade around it. Check the outdoor condenser unit for debris and have a professional clean the condenser itself. It should be in a shady area; if it is not, create shade around it without obstructing the airflow.
If it is not operating at optimal efficiency, you may notice these signs: