Summer can be a particularly rough season for your wallet. Not only do you have to contend with high electricity bills, but you also have to battle the heat to stay comfortable. If you’re living in an area with scorching temperatures around the corner, chances are your air conditioning bills will soon skyrocket. But what if we told you there was a way to cut costs and improve your energy efficiency without having to sacrifice comfort? Here are some tips on how to take care of your AC unit and save some money while you’re at it.
Factors that can contribute to an increased electricity bill when using an air conditioning unit
First, we have to know the factors that contribute to an increased electricity bill when using an air conditioning unit. Some of the most common culprits include:
The weather is often the primary factor in the increased usage of air conditioning units. Extreme summer temperatures force harder work from the air conditioning unit, which leads to more energy consumption. Also, higher temperatures lead to more extended use of the air conditioning unit, adding up to a more large electricity bill.
2. Age of Air Conditioning Units:
Older air conditioning units are less energy-efficient than newer models. If you use an air conditioning unit over ten years old, you may be using twice the electricity you would with a newer model.
3. Maintenance Issues:
When air conditioning units are poorly maintained, their efficiency can decrease, leading to increased energy usage. When air filters are dirty, ducts are clogged, or refrigerant leaks, the air conditioning unit must work harder to achieve the desired temperature, leading to a more significant electricity bill.
4. Poor Insulation
Inadequate insulation in the home can lead to energy waste, with hot air leaking in during the summer months. As a result, the air conditioning unit must work harder and longer.
5. Thermostat Settings:
The thermostat is a crucial factor to consider when reducing energy usage. If you set the thermostat lower than necessary, your air conditioning unit will run longer and consume more energy.
6. Leaky Ducts:
Leaky ducts can be a significant source of energy waste when using an air conditioning unit. When the air escapes through the leaks, it leads to inefficient cooling and increased energy usage. To reduce energy consumption and decrease electricity bills, have your ducts tested for leaks and make sure they are properly sealed.
7. Improper Sizing of the Unit
Many homeowners make the mistake of getting an air conditioning unit that is either too big or too small for their home. If the unit is too small, it will run constantly trying to cool the entire house, leading to an increase in electricity usage and costs. On the other hand, if the unit is too big, it will cool the house quickly and shut off, which leads to short cycling that can cause damage to the compressor and an increase in electricity usage.
How to improve air conditioner efficiency and save some money
1. Replace Your Air Filters Regularly
If you’ve ever looked at your air filter and thought “How bad can it be?”, chances are the answer is “terrible”. Air filters can get clogged with dirt, dust, and other allergens very quickly, so your unit must work harder to push air through them. Not only will this decrease your air quality, but it will also increase your energy expenditure since your AC system will have to work harder to circulate colder air. Replacing your air filter every 30-60 days is a cheap, quick, and easy way to make your air conditioning more efficient.
To ensure consistent and thorough cleaning: Keep records on how frequently you vacuum the vents Evaluate the size of the air filler needed, if any, for each vent Examine if the vents appear dirty, or suffer from the presence of dust, pet hair, or other debris. Maintain a professional vent cleaning habit. Unfortunately, sometimes you may clean the vents and still notice you are not achieving very high efficiency in your air conditioning system. If that is the case, check whether the vent vicinity is clear.
2. Seal Any Leaks
Poor insulation and gaps around your windows or doors could allow hot air in and cool air out, thus, making it hard for your AC to keep your home cool. Seal any gaps or air leaks in your windows, doors, and ducts. Additionally, adding extra insulation to your home can help keep cool air in and hot air out, resulting in lower electrical bills. Air leaks in your house can make your AC system work harder than it should to keep your house cool. This is why it’s important to seal any drafts or leaks in your windows and doors.
You can use weatherstripping, caulking, or foam sealant to do this. This not only saves you money by reducing your energy consumption, but it also has the added benefit of improving your indoor air quality.
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat is a great way to cut down on your energy consumption when you’re not at home. These thermostats allow you to set your preferred temperature while you’re home, and adjust the temperature to a higher setting when you’re out. This means your AC system won’t have to work as hard when you’re not home, which saves energy and cuts down on your electricity bill. Plus, many newer models can sync with your smartphone, so you can adjust your temperature from anywhere.
4. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance on your air conditioning unit is a great way to keep it running efficiently and extend its lifespan. An HVAC professional can check for any leaks or damages that could be hurting your system’s efficiency, as well as clean and lubricate all the necessary parts. This not only saves you money in the long run, but it also ensures that your AC unit is running as efficiently as possible.
5. Ceiling Fans
Did you know that running your ceiling fans could increase your AC’s energy efficiency by up to 15%? Turning on your ceiling fans can help circulate cold air throughout your home, and this could reduce the need for your AC to run at full power. Ceiling fans are a great way to improve your AC efficiency by keeping the air circulating throughout your home. By installing ceiling fans in your living areas, you can reduce your reliance on your AC unit, lowering your energy bills, and keeping the air fresher. A bonus tip: make sure the fans run counter-clockwise during summer months to create a cooling effect.
6. Consider Upgrading Your AC Unit
If you’re using an old AC unit, it may be time to upgrade. Newer units are designed to be more energy efficient, which can save you money in the long run. Replace your old unit with an Energy Star-certified model to ensure high-efficiency performance that meets strict guidelines for reducing energy usage.
Other home tips to reduce the usage of air conditioning units
– Maintain airflow
People commonly block airflow with furniture or neglect changing air filters, which forces the machine’s motor to work harder. Still, allowing air to move applies to windows and shades.
– Avoid usage during peak hours.
It’s commonly more expensive to use electricity during the day. Opt for open windows or switch off AC units during peak hours.
-Turn it Off When You Leave.
This may be the most obvious tip, but it’s important to turn off your AC unit when you leave the house. This is especially important if you’re going away for more than a few days. Your AC won’t have to work as hard (and thus spend more energy) to cool down your home if it’s not running in your absence.
-Use curtains and blinds:
Keep your curtains and blinds closed during the hottest parts of the day to block out sunlight and keep your home cooler.
– Plant trees and bushes:
Strategically planting trees and bushes around your home can provide shade, which can help keep your home cooler.
–Reducing indoor heat sources
Try to avoid indoor heat sources like using a dryer, oven, or stove, which takes a long time in an air-conditioned room. When you use these appliances, they are going to result in warm air being circulated through the home.
-Use exhaust fans:
Exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas of your home can help reduce humidity. They also help reduce the need for air conditioning by removing hot air from these rooms.
– Invest in a dehumidifier:
Using a dehumidifier in your home can help reduce humidity levels, making it easier for your air conditioner to do its job. A dehumidifier will also help reduce mold or mildew growth in your home, which is another important factor in improving your indoor air quality.
-Wearing appropriate clothes
Lastly, the most straightforward method of reducing energy usage is tweaking our lifestyles. Wearing appropriate clothes, taking shorter showers, etc. will significantly contribute to energy savings.
If you are in an environment where air conditioning is not always available, wearing clothes made from light and breathable fabrics can help keep you cooler. Linen, cotton, and lightweight wools are all great options for keeping cool during the hot summer months.
Overall, there are many ways to cut down on your energy consumption and save money with your air conditioning unit. By replacing air filters, sealing leaks, using a programmable thermostat, and scheduling regular maintenance, you can keep your AC system running efficiently and save money on your electricity bill. Remember, a little bit of upkeep can go a long way when it comes to keeping your home comfortable and your wallet full. For excellent air conditioning services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.