One of the most common questions our technicians get about air conditioning systems is how to spend less on using them each month. In other words, how do you use your air conditioner most efficiently in order to lower your energy bills? Considering how unbearably hot it gets in our area, it’s only natural that you may wonder this as well.
The good news is, in addition to scheduling routine air conditioning maintenance, there are a number of free ways to boost your cooling efficiency. Keep reading for tips on how to use your air conditioner most efficiently, and give us a call if you suspect operational problems.
Raise the Temperature
We know this tip sounds a little—okay, a lot—counter-intuitive. Bear with us though! We don’t expect you to make your home hotter than it should be at the peak of summer. But you may be turning your thermostat settings down much lower than you actually need to maintain comfort.
For instance, we’ve heard of homeowners lowering their thermostat to as low as 71°F when in reality, most people are just fine comfort-wise at about 78°F throughout the day. Additionally, you can save energy and money by raising the temperature when you aren’t home, or while you’re sleeping. Don’t waste unnecessary energy by cooling a home that you’re not using. Or by lowering temperatures far more than you need.
Use Your Ceiling Fans!
A ceiling fan cannot lower the temperature of a room. It other words, it cannot keep you cool all by itself. It can, however, make you feel cooler. This is because fans help sweat evaporate from your body, which is your natural way of keeping cool. On a mild winter or spring day, your ceiling fans might be adequate enough to use on their own without your air conditioner.
But when you are using your AC system, ceiling fans help to push cool air down and keeps warm air rising. So pairing your ceiling fans with your forced-air cooling system allows you to turn your AC system to a higher temperature, thus lowering your monthly energy costs.
Change Your Air Filter Regularly
The air filter that comes standard with your air conditioner gets clogged up with dust and debris over the course of system use. This is what it’s designed for—to protect your HVAC systems from that dust and debris (no, it’s not there to protect your indoor air quality). When the air filter gets too jammed up though, it makes it difficult for air to circulate through your home.
This makes it harder for your air conditioner to keep you and your family cool, and as a result your system may malfunction or freeze up. Be sure to change your air filter each and every month, so that your system can work as it should.
Keep Your Air Conditioner Clean
During your maintenance appointment each year, our technicians will thoroughly clean the inside components of your air conditioner, but what about the outdoor unit? This can fall victim to things like lawn mulch, dust, leaves, and even small tree branches and twigs.
All of this impacts airflow and therefore could cause your air conditioner to work harder than it should, ultimately hurting your efficiency and wallet.