Air Conditioning 101: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks You Should Know

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Would you love to run your AC units 24/7, but the risk of running high utility bills is keeping you from doing so?

Do you want to make the most out of your air conditioner without having to worry about energy consumption or home AC repair costs?

You’ve come to the right place!

Here are eight simple AC tips and tricks to help keep your utility costs down and improve your AC system’s efficiency without sacrificing comfort.

1. Seal leaks and reduce drafts.

Sealing leaks and drafts in your home is the simplest way to reduce heat gain and save as much as 30% on your energy bills.

Doors and windows are the most common drafty areas, which means you can get rid of most of the draft in your house by caulking your doors and windows or applying self-adhesive weatherstripping around the frames. If you live in an older house that has never been air-sealed before, consider having a blower test done to check the amount of air leakage in the building.

2. Shut out the sun.

Letting natural light in may help reduce your lighting costs, but it adds to the amount of work your air conditioning has to do. To help your air conditioner cool your home more efficiently, close your blinds or curtains during the day, especially when no one’s at home.

Blocking the sun’s heat and keeping the hot air out will enhance your system’s cooling efficiency. Your AC unit won’t have to run all the time to maintain the optimal temperature inside your home.

3. Keep the air filters clean.

The filters in your air conditioning system trap airborne dust and particles, so they don’t recirculate in your home. The thing is, when these particles accumulate, they can restrict your HVAC system’s airflow and cause your AC to work harder to keep a room comfortable.

An overworked air conditioning system can escalate your energy consumption, not to mention subject the system’s parts to extra wear and tear. To keep your unit running efficiently, vacuum and wash your air filters with soapy water at least once a month or replace them if they’re become too dirty, clogged, or worn out.

4. Tweak the temperature.

Did you know that setting your thermostat closer to the temperature outside can significantly reduce your energy consumption costs by up to 10%? Yes, when it comes to energy savings, every degree on the thermostat matters.

One mistake many homeowners make is setting their thermostat too cold during the summertime. On the hotter months of the year, try to keep your thermostat just a few degrees lower than the outdoor temperature. If it’s 82 degrees outside, the ideal thermostat level would be 72 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Install a programmable thermostat.

There’s no need to keep the AC running at your ideal coolness level when no one’s at home to enjoy it. However, many of us are guilty of forgetting to adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature when we leave the house.

If you really want to lower your energy bill, consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat. The use of a programmable thermostat can reduce your monthly energy consumption by 5 – 30%.

Set the thermostat higher during the hours of the day when nobody’s around and then lower it for comfort when everybody’s back at home. Most smart thermostats have Wi-Fi capabilities that allow you to remotely adjust the temperature.

6. Place heat-producing appliances away from the thermostat.

The location of your thermostat can have a huge impact on the overall efficiency of your AC unit. Installing the thermostat in an area exposed to large amounts of heat may affect its ability to properly gauge the temperature of the room.

Positioning the thermostat close to lamps, windows, and heat-producing appliances may lead it to think that the space is hotter than it actually is. As a result, your AC cools the room off more than necessary. This will not only raise your cooling costs but inflict pointless wear and tear on your air conditioning system over time.

7. Use a dehumidifier.

Have you heard people say, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity?” Well, they’re probably right. Many times – and especially during the summer months, it’s not the heat that’s to blame for the discomfort, but the humidity.

Using a dehumidifier can make your home less humid and stuffy. Many new AC models also come with a dehumidifying mode. This setting helps reduce the humidity in a room and makes it’s easier for your air conditioning system to achieve a comfortable temperature.

8. Practice basic care and regular maintenance.

Your AC system needs some TLC to continue running in optimum condition. Proper care and maintenance can help lower your unit’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent.

In addition to basic care, don’t forget to arrange for a professional AC service at least once a year – preferably, before the summer season kicks in. Hiring an expert to check and clean your air conditioning system is the best way to ensure that it operates at maximum efficiency all-year-round.

When the temperature rises, many of us turn to our air conditioners for comfort and relief. Staying cool is easy to do. With these hacks, however, you don’t only get to beat the heat — you also save energy and prolong the life of your AC system, so it can keep cooling your home for the years to come.

About The Author: Sara Olsen is the Content Marketing Manager of Emergency Air. When not writing articles, she makes the most of her time with her family and gives back to the community.
Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash