High Energy Bills? Drive Air Conditioning Efficiency Up With These 5 Tips
We can’t lower the temperature outside, so boosting air conditioning efficiency inside is the best strategy to deal with high energy bills. When it comes to air conditioning, little things can make a big difference in both energy savings and home comfort. And those improvements can shrink your carbon footprint and benefit the environment. Make sure you’re getting the efficiency your air conditioner was designed to provide, and lower your energy bills by following these five tips:
- Change the filter monthly: More than any other single factor, low airflow substantially affects efficiency and comfort. A dirty or clogged air filter also contaminates your indoor air quality and increases wear and tear on system components.
- Schedule regular service with an HVAC contractor: Coils require professional maintenance. The indoor evaporator coil extracts heat and humidity from the air in your home. A dirty coil does a less efficient job. Dirt buildup also promotes mold growth and ice formation.The condenser coil outside should be cleaned, and debris such as leaves and grass clippings need to be removed. Cut back weeds and other vegetation to provide at least 2 feet of space around the unit for proper airflow.
- Be smart when it comes to your thermostat: The efficiency sweet spot for most central air conditioners is around 78 degrees. Set the thermostat there, and leave it. Avoid pushing the thermostat way down to cool your home fast. For optimal efficiency, install a programmable thermostat.
- Shade the windows: Much heat entering your home in the summer is infrared energy in the form of sunlight. Drawing curtains and pulling down the shades to absorb or block the sunlight prevents accumulation of heat energy in your home.
- Use ceiling fans wisely: Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that can make you feel comfortable even when the thermostat’s turned up a few degrees. An air conditioned room with a ceiling fan feels about 4 degrees cooler. You’ll be just as comfortable, and you’ll save money.