A more efficient air conditioning system is a great way to lower your electric bill and keep cool. While replacing an old AC unit with more efficient new model is the quickest way to improve efficiency, there are other things you can do with your current unit to improve cooling efficiency.
- Keep windows and doors closed – “I’m not here to air condition the whole outdoors!”, my Dad used to say. Your cool air can easily escape outside when windows and doors are open. If you need to air out of your home, turn your air conditioner off.
- Fix leaks around doors and windows – Air leaks can be a major cause of lost efficiency. Your cool air will leak outside – and hot air can come in – which will make your air conditioner run longer than it needs to be, using more electricity.
- Set it and forget it – Fiddling with your thermostat can make your system run longer than it needs to, and can result in more frequent on and off cycles which shorten the life of the unit. Set or program your thermostat and leave it be.
- Keep your condenser cool – The condenser is the big part of your A/C system outside of your home. Like most mechanical equipment, condensers do not like to run hot. A shaded condenser can run more efficiently.
- Maximize airflow around the condenser – Condensers need free-flowing air to work at their best. Plants and anything else that could obstruct air flow should be a least 2-3 feet away from your air conditioner.
- Change filters frequently – Air flow is very important to the indoor parts of your air conditioning, too. A dirty filter will not only reduce indoor air quality, but it can also impede airflow and make your air conditioner work too hard.
- Keep registers open to maximize air conditioner efficiency – Avoid using registers for temperature control. When you mess around with the registers, it can change the cooling load your air conditioner is intended to cool. This can cause reduce efficiency and and sometimes even damage your air conditioning unit.
- Get in the zone – If you need to fine tune control for each room in your house, invest in a zoning system. You can control the cooling of your home by rooms or groups of rooms for customized comfort and maximum efficiency.
- Set your thermostat sensibly – Setting your thermostat to a really low temperature does not cool your home faster. Your air conditioner will actually just run longer, which means you will pay more for the electricity.
- Maintenance – The most important thing you can do to make your air conditioning more efficient is to keep up with preventative maintenance. A good HVAC contractor can make sure your system is in operating at its best possible efficiency levels.