You love your AC and the luxury of staying cool when temperatures skyrocket. What you don’t love, however, is the price tag that goes along with it. Getting hit with a heatwave means you could be running your AC unit for a long period of time. So, how can you make your AC run efficiently?
Perhaps the most important thing to first consider is why you should bother taking the steps to ensure efficiency when it comes to your AC unit.
Combined with heating and cooling your home can take up half your total utility expenses. That’s quite a lot when you add it up, especially over time! Taking the steps to run your AC more efficiently can help to decrease that pesky cooling bill and save you a lot of precious dollars.
If you’re someone who’s interested in saving some money while you cool your home, then you’re definitely going to want to keep reading!
Tips to Run AC Efficiently
There’s a lot more to efficiency when it comes to your AC unit than making sure it’s shut off when the temperatures lower. Cleaning, moving things around, avoiding doing certain things while running your AC, and more can all contribute to AC efficiency. Let’s take a look at our favorite hacks to help you run your AC efficiently in more detail.
Get your air conditioner serviced sooner rather than later
There’s no better way to ensure your air conditioner stays working in prime condition than getting it serviced each year. Don’t let this wait until the summer temperatures skyrocket. Waiting leaves time for problems to happen.
It’s usually best to get your AC unit serviced in spring each year when the temperatures start to rise but it isn’t quite summer yet. This will help to make sure your AC runs efficiently and keep you from having to fork up a bunch of cash for costly repairs.
Upgrade your thermostat and make sure it’s on the right wall
Upgrading your thermostat can be a great way to help save on costs. Most smart thermostats can help regulate cooling your home while you’re not there. You can also adjust the settings remotely using an app on your phone.
Be sure to get your thermostat installed on the correct wall as thermostat placement can influence how well your air conditioner works. Putting it on a wall right next to a window for example means your AC unit will kick on more often than it needs to. This is because it will think the room is hotter than it really is. Be strategic when it comes to placement!
Clean the area around your outdoor condenser unit
Keeping the area around your outdoor condenser clean is an essential step when it comes to AC efficiency. When it’s all clear and free of debris it is better set up to work properly. This is something you can do on your own, although a more thorough clean by a professional is always a good idea.
You should also clear your drain line by the indoor cooling coil. This will help to save your home from taking on water if the drain happens to become clogged. You can clean the drain line by flushing one cup of a non-corrosive chemical such as white vinegar or simple green then letting that sit in the drain line for at least 30 mins then flush about 1 gallon of hot tap water. If you would like to take it to the next step you can hook on a wet and dry vacuum to the drain line outside while you flush the 1 gallon of hot tap water through the drain line. Once you’re done and you’ve sucked the entire 1-gallon of hot water through the line, turn the vacuum off and dump about 1-quart of water in the line which will prime the drain trap.
Stop cooling the whole neighborhood
Seems obvious right? Even the most obvious of hacks need a reminder from time to time! If your home is on the older side then the cold air inside of it can seep out into the neighborhood through windows and doors that aren’t still fully sealed or attics that aren’t fully insulated.
You can get a home auditor to check your home for any areas that cool air may be escaping from. You can also do your own audit. Walk outside your home while running your hand along the windows and doors. If you can feel cold air escaping then it’s definitely time to do some touch-ups!
Move things around for maximum AC efficiency
You should take the time to move your lamps and any other heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat. When these appliances are working near your thermostat, it gets the impression that the room needs to be cooled more than it really does. The air conditioning then ends up running much longer and harder than it needs to.
You should also ensure your curtains and blinds stay closed during the hottest part of the day. If direct sunlight is to hit your windows it’s likely to become a lot warmer inside. Therefore, kicking your AC into high gear.
Avoid using your dryer and oven in the heat
When it’s already hot out the last thing you need to be doing is adding more heat to the inside of your home. This is especially true during the hottest hours of the day.
Running your dryer and oven means that warm air will be drawn into your home. You will also end up heating the air already in your home. This only makes your air conditioner work harder and your AC bill goes up!
Create shade for the condenser
This simple hack is probably one of the most effective! Set up some sort of shade for your condenser if it sits in the sunlight or is somewhere out in the heat. When your condenser gets hot it ends up working harder.
Be sure to not shade the condenser so much that it ends up blocking airflow. Try to find the perfect medium between shading the condenser and allowing air to flow freely around it. A good rule of thumb is to always maintain 1ft clearance around the condenser outside and to NEVER place anything over the top of the unit since the condenser outside ejects hot air from the top of the unit and by placing something over the top of the unit it will cause that hot air to recirculate back into the condenser.
Do what you were always told not to
As a kid, you were probably told that if the AC is on, you shouldn’t have the fan going as well in order to help save power. The truth is that using a ceiling fan in combination with your air conditioning can actually help to make the room feel even cooler. Therefore, allowing your AC unit to work less.
It can also be a good idea to raise the temperature on your thermostat to a temperature you can stand. While it might not be icy cold, keeping the room at a comfortable temperature instead can help when it comes to efficiency.
Cover your windows during the day
Covering the windows during the day can be great for blocking out the heat and direct sunlight. You might install blinds or even get creative with some tin foil. Doing so can help to keep harmful heat out and keep it as cool as possible inside. Your air conditioner is sure to thank you!
This should only be followed in the hot summer months, you do not want to keep your windows covered year round. The reason for this is in winter months your unit needs to run to remove the humidity from inside your home and when it’s cooler out the AC systems don’t really get to run enough sometimes to get that humidity to a comfortable range before it reaches your set point on the thermostat and shutting off. So in the winter we welcome the extra heat through the windows as it allows the unit to run long enough to remove enough moisture from the home.
Be sure to insulate any exposed ductwork
Ductwork likely runs through an unconditioned space that you will want to be sure is properly sealed. This helps to ensure it doesn’t leak your conditioned air and instead keeps it indoors where it keeps you nice and cool.
You can fix visual leaks yourself, but it’s always a good idea to get yourmaintenance taken care of by a professional.
AC Care Can Help Maximize Your AC Efficiency
You might take a few of these hacks and use them to help improve your AC efficiency. While every little bit helps, sometimes it takes an extra push to see real cost-saving results.
Rather than waiting to see your AC bill plummet, get the help you need from an expert like AC Care. We can evaluate your AC unit and dig deep into where inefficiencies may lie. Our factory-trained and certified technicians are ready and equipped with technical knowledge that they can use to handle your unit competently.
Call us today and book an appointment with one of our technicians!
For further reading about how to run AC efficiently: