An inefficient air conditioner can quickly send your monthly electricity costs skyrocketing. With rising energy bills and a more extreme climate driving temperatures up, there has never been a time when air conditioning efficiency has been more important.
Here are five affordable or no-cost ways to boost the efficiency of your air conditioning unit and drive your monthly energy bills back down.
Get Your Unit Serviced Regularly
Residential air conditioning units require regular services to keep them operating at peak efficiency. If your energy bills are creeping up and you suspect an inefficient air conditioning system is to blame, contact an HVAC air conditioning professional to get your system serviced and bring it back to peak efficiency. It is far cheaper than replacing the unit and could have just as beneficial results.
Clean Your System
Responsible air conditioning owners clean the outside coil of the air conditioning unit every year. Make it part of your spring-cleaning routine and do it just before the warmer months to ensure your system is running at maximum efficiency when you need it most.
You can find the coil in the outdoor cabinet of the unit. If you think this is something you might have trouble with, or don’t have the necessary tools, contact a professional air conditioning cleaning service to do it for you.
Ensure Your Unit is Shaded
Most people don’t realize that controlling the foliage growing around your air conditioning unit can have a positive impact on the unit’s efficiency. The ideal set up is one whereby any shrubs around the unit are trimmed to avoid debris becoming lodged in the unit itself, but there are trees or bushes nearby to cast shade over the unit.
A unit under in the shade and protected from the sun can operate 10% more efficiently than one exposed to direct sunlight, according to the US Department of Energy.
Raise the Temperature
You have an air conditioner for a reason, and nobody is saying you should settle for a hot temperature just to increase your energy efficiency. But if you like to keep your house like a walk-in freezer, perhaps settling for a temperature a few degrees warmer would put less strain on the air conditioning unit and boost efficiency.
Vacuum Around Your Indoor Vents
The system’s inefficiency could be stemming from obstructions and debris built up around the indoor vents. Vacuum thoroughly around the indoor vents to dislodge dust and improve the airflow.
It is also beneficial to ensure furniture is not blocking the vents and limiting the airflow. Rearranging furniture so as to optimize the airflow from the air conditioning vents can make a room instantly feel cooler, saving you money.
Keeping heat-producing furniture away from your thermostat will also help improve efficiency. If your thermostat detects the heat from a lamp nearby, it will tell your system that the temperature inside your home is creeping up, triggering it to blast cool air around the whole house in an attempt to bring the temperature back down. This is one way to quickly drive energy bills up.