10 TIPS FOR IMPROVING AC EFFICIENCY
Your air conditioner uses a lot of energy. In fact, more than half your utility bill covers heating and cooling (perhaps much more than that during the summer). Even the newest, most efficient AC systems use a substantial amount of energy. But you can improve efficiency with these helpful tips:
- Clean the Condenser Unit
Since the condenser unit is outdoors, it is always susceptible to debris buildup. Twigs, leaves, dirt, feathers, trash, and other debris can pile up and block ventilation, which decreases performance and efficiency. Clear any debris from around the housing and also trim back plants and bushes a few feet so there is adequate clearance around the condenser. Placing it in the shade can also help boost efficiency.
- Vacuum Your Vents
A blocked vent will disrupt airflow, and an air conditioning unit relies on steady airflow to run efficiently. Regularly clean dust, pet hair, and debris from the supply vents. Also make sure the vents aren’t blocked by furniture, blinds, toys, appliances, or any other objects. A conventional household vacuum cleaner is fine for clearing dust and debris and keeping your vents clean.
- Make Sure Your Thermostat Is in the Right Place
Thermostats measure the temperature at their location, using that information to control the AC system. Placing a thermostat by a warm window, a lamp, television, or heat-producing appliance can cause your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to. Instead, it should be placed on the interior wall of a frequently used room, where it’s not blocked by a door, bookshelf, or any other furnishing. And if you have a smart thermostat, install it close to your home Wi-Fi to ensure a strong, reliable connection.
- Increase Thermostat Temperature
Increasing the temperature 5 to 8°F in the summer (and lowering it in the winter), can save a significant amount of energy and still maintain comfort. Turn up the thermostat whenever you leave the house. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, increasing the temperature 10-15°F for eight hours a day can save 10% on your annual cooling bill. It also helps to program the thermostat according to times you’re home and away.
- Change Your AC Filter
If you use your AC a lot, check the filter at least once a month. A dirty filter restricts airflow and reduces system efficiency. It also negatively affects indoor air quality. Fortunately, you can avoid AC performance issues and health effects of air pollution by cleaning and changing the filter. It’s a simple, affordable way to maintain the system and doesn’t require an HVAC technician.
- Consider Installing a Zoning System
A zoning system allows you to control the temperature of each room, or sections of your home, individually. Heating and cooling rooms you use most improves efficiency because the system isn’t wasting energy on rooms and areas not used. Zoning controls can be installed without upgrading your entire HVAC system. Therefore, a zoning system may be more affordable than you think.
- Insulate Unit Ducts
Fiberglass insulation helps insulate exposed ductwork, especially R-8 insulating materials with a foil facing. Insulation is especially useful for ducts that run through unconditioned spaces such as basements or attics. An AC installation technician can help determine whether duct insulation needs to be improved and what steps are needed to boost efficiency.
- Check for Air Leaks
Ducts must be properly sealed to minimize air leakage. But air doesn’t only leak from ductwork. It can also escape through wall cracks, poor window and door seals, and other areas, adding as much as 30% to your home cooling costs. While there are ways to check for air leaks yourself, an HVAC services professional has the tools and expertise to inspect your home and find any leak points to fix.
- Close Your Blinds
Closing window blinds prevent hot sunlight from heating up your rooms and thermostat. It also helps insulate your windows, preventing cold air from escaping. A good habit is to close your blinds and curtains before going to work. This allows your AC to run more efficiently during the warmest, sunniest hours of the day.
- Use Ceiling Fans
A ceiling fan can make you feel 10°F cooler without adjusting the thermostat down. It uses a fraction of the energy a central air conditioner does and efficiently circulates cool air throughout your home. A smart ceiling fan can be set to turn on and off at specified times, and run at different speeds, using a smartphone app.
Contact Ideal Temp
Ideal Temp is trusted for AC installation, real estate inspections, and other HVAC services throughout Kansas City, MO. Whether you need repairs or a new installation, we provide the highest quality service and equipment. We can also help improve system efficiency and provide comprehensive maintenance plans to keep your heating and cooling system running year after year. To learn more, call Ideal Temp at 816-720-7857 today.