Every homeowner struggles with this dilemma; how to find a balance between running the home’s air conditioning to keep the house comfortable and keeping the electricity bills affordable.
If homeowners choose not to use their AC at all times, the home becomes hot and uncomfortable. But if they don’t limit their use of the home’s cooling systems, there will be huge bills to pay at month’s end.
Most homeowners want an alternative that allows them to have comfortable homes without exorbitant electricity bills, says PinnaclePMC.com. This article will show you how to keep your home’s electricity bills low without sacrificing comfort in your house.
Instead of forcing you to minimize the use of the AC, this strategy focuses on making your home’s cooling units work better. This is a far more sustainable approach to keeping electricity bills manageable. Here are some tips to improve the efficiency of your AC unit.
1. Invest in more efficient units
If your units are old, you may be asking more from them than they can give. Older units cool less efficiently and use up more energy. New Energy Star rated air conditioners deliver more cooling while using 15% less energy than older systems. And if you buy a unit that uses hydrocarbon refrigerant mixtures instead of synthetic ones, you can save 17% to 38% of your cooling costs.
2. Ensure the AC is the right size
If you use the unit in a room size that is larger than its cooling capacity, it will overwork itself. The machine will consume more energy to keep the space cooled, it will break down more often and the room will not be cooled properly. Conversely, an oversized unit will waste energy.
3. Tune-up the AC
After lying idle through the winter months, your AC may not be in the best shape by summer. Before you fire up the unit, you should have a professional give it a tune-up. This will ensure that any issues that have developed with the system are found and resolved.
4. Change the filters
Dust, pollen, and other materials in the surrounding air will get into the AC filters. Clogged and dirty filters force your AC to use up more energy and deliver less cooling. If the filters are disposable, they should be replaced, but if permanent filters, they should be cleaned.
5. Clean around the condenser
To ensure proper airflow around the outside condenser, cut back surrounding vegetation to at least two feet from the unit. Also, remove dead leaves and any sort of litter from the area. If the AC is properly ventilated and free of debris, it will work more efficiently.
6. Clean coil fins
If the coil fins have accumulated dirt and debris, it will reduce airflow and impair the unit’s efficiency. The fins may be cleaned using a gentle stream from the garden hose or fin cleaning spray. If there are bent fins, straighten them with a butter knife.
7. Place the compressor in the shade
It is best if the compressor unit is kept in a cool and shaded area. This will prevent it from overheating. The unit will not use up excess energy trying to cool itself and the house, at the same time. An AC that is in direct sunlight can lose as much as 10% of its efficiency.
8. Keep indoor open and unblocked
The AC’s indoor vents should be vacuumed periodically to remove dust and debris, and help the system maintain steady airflow. Items that that block the vents – like furniture and blinds – should be removed.
9. Keep heat sources away from the thermostat
Keeping heat-emitting objects close to the thermostat will increase the ambient temperature around the thermostat. If this happens, the thermostat will assume the room temperature is high and make the AC work harder than is necessary.
10. Keep blinds and doors closed
During the day when the temperature is high, blinds and curtains should be closed. This prevents direct sunlight from getting into the room, warming it, and causing the unit to work harder. Closing doors when the AC is running will also prevent cooled air from escaping.
11. Install a ceiling fan to improve airflow
Installing a ceiling fan in the room will reduce the load on the unit because the fan will circulate cooled air to the farthest parts of the room. They will cool the room faster, reduce the strain on the unit and allow it to take more breaks.
12. Install a programmable thermostat
Smart thermostats regulate how the unit works according to the time of day, number of people in a room, humidity, and temperature. This keeps the AC from overworking and wasting energy. If the unit does not have a smart thermostat, you can purchase one for it.
13. Weatherproof your home
If your home is not properly weatherproofed it will work against you AC and make it work too hard. Taking steps like applying window film to tint windows, making sure the insulation in the home is working, and installing double-glazed windows, will make the home more energy-efficient.