10 Energy and Money-Saving Tips for Your Home Air Conditioning System
Posted: May 13, 2019
Warmer days are on the way to Southern Maine and New Hampshire (believe it or not!), which means that soon you will be cranking that A/C to keep your family comfortable – and you will have the bills to prove it.
Here are 10 ways you can keep those bills as low as possible and get the most bang for your cooling buck – whether you are opting for a high efficiency A/C upgrade or continuing to rely on your current central air conditioning system.
Buy the right system. Matching an air conditioner to your space is crucial to getting the most value from your home cooling system. An air conditioning pro can help you choose a system that’s just right for your home’s heating load and your budget.
Install it in the right place. If placed in direct sunlight, your air conditioner’s outdoor condenser unit will overwork and overheat, which will raise your energy bill and could lead to costly A/C repairs. Also avoid placing your condenser near dryer vents and lawn debris areas to minimize dirt build-up on your evaporator and condenser coils (see # 6 below).
Don’t DIY. Having problems with your air conditioner? Have them diagnosed and repaired only by a qualified HVAC technician. A pro will find the problem quickly and get it repaired correctly.
Keep the condenser well ventilated. Avoid placing shrubs or plants near the your outdoor A/C unit; they will impede ventilation and may clog the condenser coils (see #6 below). Try to keep at least two feet of space around the condenser to ensure for proper airflow.
Keep your coils clean. Condenser and evaporator coils can become clogged with dirt, which reduces efficiency; a quality A/C tune-up will include coil cleaning.
Clean/replace your air filters. A dirty air filter could increase your energy bill by up to 15 percent and could lead to costly repairs down the road. Check your air conditioner’s air filter one per month in the peak summer months, cleaning or changing them as needed.
Shoot for 78 degrees. Target a thermostat setting of 78 degrees when people are home to get the best balance of comfort and energy savings, says the U.S. Department of Energy; raise the temperature 6-7 degrees when no one is home to save money.
Close the windows. Open windows let cool air out and warm, humid air in, which means your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep you cool. Always keep doors and windows closed when your equipment is running.
Keep vents clear. Avoid blocking A/C registers with curtains, furniture, artwork, and other obstructions. Ensure that cool air can make it into your living with the least amount of effort possible.