13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for West Palm Beach Homeowners
You may not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s hot outside—until you see your power bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the standard U.S. home’s annual energy bills and up to 70% of your utility costs during the summer. If you’re sick of spending too much for air conditioning, practice these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.
- Prioritize routine maintenance: Dirt and debris accumulate in your air conditioner over time, decreasing efficiency. Schedule annual maintenance to have a specialist clean your unit’s coils, exchange the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. An annual inspection also makes it possible for your technician to discover and fix any potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose trash and nearby trees growing around your air conditioner can restrict airflow and make the system work harder. Check the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and sweeping debris as needed to keep your cooling system operating properly.
- Put in a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat helps you to set automatic temperatures based on your schedule. In the summer months, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your house or apartment and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you return. This lowers electrical consumption and saves money without sacrificing comfort.
- Avoid overriding programmed settings: While you could bypass the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or removing a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you need to adjust the temperature, do so by merely a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to squander energy.
- Utilize the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode circulates air to stop rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals recommend using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, reducing needless energy waste.
- Block solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, getting outdoor awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your property cooler. These techniques are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines directly in.
- Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So, if feasible, position the condensing unit so it’s in the shade in the afternoon.
- Keep your air vents open: It’s a common misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms helps you to save energy. However, this throws off the supply and return air equilibrium, making your AC less efficient. As a rule, keep at least 80% of your registers open all of the time and make sure no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
- Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans move air throughout the room, generating a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This might allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling hot, lowering your dependence on the air conditioner and decreasing your bills.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity fosters a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to repeatedly lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier eliminates excessive moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
- Use natural ventilation carefully: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to restrict cool air from leaking out. If you are living somewhere with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors at night to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner.
- Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors give access to hot summer air inside even when closed, making it more challenging and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside of your home where it needs to be.
- Seal duct leaks: A typical home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air inside of it to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and stop this energy waste.
If you still have comfort issues or extreme energy costs after implementing these tips, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning concerns, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a new, high-efficiency model. For your confidence, we back all the work that we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Contact a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in West Palm Beach.