How to Help Your Air Conditioner Run More Efficiently
As the warmer months draw near, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without sending your electricity bills through the roof. The secret lies in using your AC more efficiently. Follow these 12 simple tips and techniques to keep your air conditioner in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Repeatedly altering the thermostat makes your AC work harder, elevating 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 touching 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 beyond your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” think about using a programmable thermostat. This easy upgrade allows you to schedule temperatures based on your everyday routines, automatically changing the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and conserving energy when you’re away.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it normally would. To reduce heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows when the temperature is the hottest. Window coverings with light-colored backings work the best at reflecting the sun's rays.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Blocked or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating bills. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Running fans in conjunction with your HVAC system circulates cool air more efficiently, making your home feel more comfortable while barely increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to set the temperature higher without giving up comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering generate heat and moisture. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to lower your home’s cooling burden. In addition, make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your home.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Elevated humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to lower the temperature. A dehumidifier takes away excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while requiring significantly less electricity than running the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location impacts its effectiveness considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shelters it during the hottest part of the day 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 impede airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes cause indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Doing these activities in the evening when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A dirty filter blocks airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it on a regular basis to promote maximum performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but its best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts waste significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned areas like the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and reduces energy expenses.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Routine tune-ups are recommended to keep your air conditioning system running properly. Hire a certified technician to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This preventative measure extends your HVAC system's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and fix potential issues before they become high-priced problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Miami
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive AC services, such as installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Miami. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Work with our crew at to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.