As the hotter months draw near, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your AC more efficiently. Follow these 12 simple tips and strategies to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Repeatedly adjusting the thermostat makes your air conditioner work harder, increasing energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To optimize efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re in the house. Next, refrain from moving it. If you get too warm, remove a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without turning down the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees above your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” think about setting up a programmable thermostat. This simple upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your daily routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and saving energy when you’re out.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it has to. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows when the temperature is the hottest. Window coverings with light-colored backings reflect sunlight the best.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Covered or closed air vents throw off your air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and upping operating expenses. To prevent this, make sure to have at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and ensure that no return vents are blocked by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Utilizing fans in conjunction with your air conditioning system circulates cool air more, making your home feel more comfortable while hardly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, specifically, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to set the temperature higher without losing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering generate heat and humidity. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling load. In addition, ensure that your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your house.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Elevated humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier takes out unwanted moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while requiring a lot less electricity than operating the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location affects its effectiveness considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades the equipment from the afternoon heat for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest hours of the day, consider planting a tree or using a screen to shade it. Just make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hinder airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and dishwashing cause indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Conducting energy-using activities like these in the evening when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A clogged filter restricts airflow and increases energy consumption, so be sure to exchange it on a regular basis to promote maximum performance. Most basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts lose significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spots in your home such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and brings down energy expenses.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Scheduled tune-ups are crucial to keep your AC running properly. Employ a certified professional to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This precautionary measure extends your HVAC system's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to uncover and fix potential issues before they become costly problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Denver
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Denver. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched know-how and commitment to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Let our team help keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.