The summer months can be brutal. When things heat up too much outside, that makes staying inside all the more enjoyable.
But keeping your home nice and cool can be devastating to your power bill. Thankfully, there are a few ways to keep your air conditioning system running efficiently. These tips will help you save money while maximizing your air conditioner’s efficiency.
1. Use Fans
Fans can be strategically used to circulate the air in your home. Ceiling fans and standing fans create a wind-chill effect that helps people feel colder without actually lowering the temperature inside. This lets you raise your thermostat by a few degrees while still maintaining a comfortable temperature inside.
While taking a bath or shower, use the ventilation fan in your bathroom to remove the warm, humid air from inside. Bathroom fans should be vented outside your home in order to stay efficient.
When you leave a room, be sure to turn off all the fans to keep your bills low. Remember, fans cool people, they don’t cool rooms.
2. Repair Leaks in Windows and Ducts
A surprising amount of cool air circulating through a home can be lost from leaks and holes in a window or duct system.
Damaged windows let warm air leak into your home. Seal off cracks and openings to prevent warm air from coming inside. Then, always make sure windows and doors are closed all the way.
Leaky air ducts push less air to where your home needs it. Repairing any leaks in the duct system will improve the overall energy efficiency of your air conditioning.
3. Insulate Exposed Ductwork
If the ducts in your cooling system aren’t properly insulated, they will be susceptible to external factors such as temperature, humidity, and condensation. These problems cause inefficiencies in the air flow, such as uneven temperatures, which cause the air conditioner to use more energy than necessary.
4. Clean Windows and Ducts
Dust and debris inside of windows, ducts, and air vents can also reduce the efficiency of your cooling system. These obstructions block cool air from traveling properly.
Periodically check the indoor vents and vacuum them out. Clean windows, fans, and other vents to maintain efficiency. If necessary, you may need a professional to do a more thorough cleaning of your duct system.
5. Clean Around the Thermostat and Air Conditioner
Your thermostat may need to be cleaned from time to time as well. A dirty thermostat might not read the temperature correctly. It might also use more energy than necessary.
Your air conditioner unit also needs to be cleaned periodically. Any debris in and around the unit will cause it to work harder than it needs to, using more energy. If there are plants by the air conditioner, be sure to trim them.
6. Keep Heat-Producing Appliances Away from the Thermostat
The thermostat can give a false reading of the temperature inside your home if it’s placed close to common appliances like lamps, TVs, or computers. Make sure the thermostat isn’t too close to rooms like the kitchen or laundry room, then clear away any heat-producing appliances from the surrounding area.
7. Program the Thermostat
To maximize efficiency in your air conditioning, program the thermostat to automate the temperature while you are in and out of the home. Set the thermostat to a higher temperature while you are out of the house. Then lower it to a comfortable temperature when you are inside.
Remember that the closer your home’s set temperature is to the air temperature outside, the less you’ll end up paying in heating and cooling bills.
8. Clear Your Air Conditioner’s Drain Line
The drain line expels water from humidity collected inside the home while your AC is running. If it gets clogged, it will trap moisture inside and reduce the efficiency of your cooling system. To clean it:
- Turn off the air conditioner.
- Find the drain line access.
- Clear it out using a wet/dry vacuum hose.
9. Avoid Using the Dryer and Oven During Hot Hours
Ovens and dryers are some of the biggest sources of heat inside the home. These appliances use up a lot of energy and produce a great deal of warm air. Avoid using them during peak temperatures. When cooking, try using alternative appliances that use less energy, like electric skillets or toaster ovens.
10. Draw Curtains to Block Sunlight
Direct sunlight can raise the temperature inside your home. Windows facing the east or west will receive the most sunlight. Use curtains and blinds to keep out the sun and help insulate your home.
11. Install Solar Screens or Film
You can also block solar heat by placing screens in front of your windows or treating them with films. These window treatments can reduce glare and even block out UV radiation. They’re also great for people who may not want to block their outside view.
12. Invest in Energy-Efficient Systems
No matter how well you maintain it, there will come a time when you need to replace your air conditioning system. It could be that it’s out of date, or it’s in disrepair. Modern air conditioning units run more efficiently than older ones, offer better cooling, and save on energy bills.
If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it with a newer, more efficient unit.
13. Make Sure Your Air Conditioner is Properly Maintained
It’s never a bad idea to have your cooling system checked out by a professional. The most efficient heating and air conditioning systems are those that are kept optimized through regular maintenance.