Improving the efficiency of your air conditioner does not have to cost a lot of money. You also do not need to sacrifice the comfort of your home to reduce your utility bills, says Leenan Property Management. The first thing you need to do to get more out of your air conditioner is to understand how the system works. You also need to be aware of daily events that impact the AC functionality, plus those daily habits you need to change to improve the efficiency of your cooling system.
The following steps for improving the efficiency of your air conditioning unit are easy enough for anyone to do:
AC size, type, and placement
· Wall-mounted vs. window-mounted
Wall-mounted units are typically more efficient than window-mounted units because of where they are placed in the room. Wall-mounted units are usually placed higher in a room. Since cool air drops to the floor and warm air rises to the ceiling, air circulation is better with a wall-mounted unit.
· AC placement
How you position the AC is important for the efficiency of the unit. This is especially true for window units. Window AC should be positioned for maximum airflow into the room. If possible, the AC should not be installed in a window that gets direct sunlight as this will make the unit work harder.
· Choose the right AC size for a room
If the AC is too small for a room, it must work harder, and you might still not get the desired results. However, if the AC is too large for a room, you will get shorter cycles (the AC will switch on and off frequently), resulting in the efficiency of the unit being impaired and its lifespan shortened.
Alternative cooling methods
· Use fans in the evening
Unless the weather in your area is very hot, you probably don’t need to use your air conditioner in the evening. Cooling fans or ceiling fans are often enough to cool rooms in the evening when the sun has set or is about to set. This simple step can save you a lot of money.
· Reduce direct sunlight in rooms
It makes no sense to let rooms be heated up by direct sunlight and then try to cool them by running the AC. A more energy-efficient approach is to reduce the amount of direct sunlight getting into your room by blocking sunlight with blinds, curtains, or window tint.
When and how to use your AC
1. Do not use AC with heat-generating appliances
If you run your air conditioner at the same time as you use the oven, electric iron, or hair dryer, the AC will have to work harder to get rid of the heat generated by those appliances. When using such appliances use a cooling fan or switch the AC to a fan setting.
2. Use fans to move air around rooms
Hot air will rise to the top of a room, while cold air will sink to the bottom. Even if the right size of AC is installed in a room, you may still have issues with air stagnating in the room. You can prevent this by using fans to move the air around. Ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise during summer to create a downdraft. The direction should be reversed in winter.
3. Do not use the AC when it is cool outside
If the outside temperature is 65°F or less, running your air conditioner under those conditions will result in reduced efficiency. This is because for the AC to work efficiently, the refrigerant inside the unit needs to get warm. Cooler outside temperatures will make this more difficult.
4. Adjust your thermostat settings
It is easy to set the thermostat at 72° F and leave it there all year round. Change your thermostat settings to reflect the seasons of the year and for more efficient cooling. During summer, set the thermostat a notch higher, wait a week to get used to this new setting, and then set the temperature another notch higher.
5. Maintain AC air filters
Changing the air filter on your air conditioner is one small step that can seriously improve the function of the system. The problem is you may forget to do this, with the result that air filters get dirty and place unnecessary stress on the AC. To prevent this, set a reminder on your phone and write the date of installation on each new filter.
6. Maintain airflow around AC
For indoor units, remove items that obstruct the AC air vents, such as curtains or furniture. Outside condenser unit also needs airflow. Do not let plants grow too close to the unit and remove anything that can lead to debris getting into the unit.
7. Ensure regular maintenance of your AC
Having your air conditioner checked at the start of every season will keep it performing at its best throughout the year. A qualified AC technician will help you detect problems before they become bigger issues. This will not only improve efficiency but also prolong the unit life.