10 ways to maximize air conditioning efficiency
Of course, we all want the most efficiency we can possibly get out of our air conditioners. While replacing an old unit with a newer, more efficient model is, obviously, the quickest and easiest way to improve efficiency, there are things you can do with your properly working, current unit to maximize cooling efficiency.
- Close windows and doors. Your conditioned 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. It’s not your job to cool the neighborhood.
- Plug leaks in your attic, under doors, around windows, etc... Air leaks can be a big problem for lost efficiency. Your cool air will leak outside and could result in your air conditioner operating longer than it needs to be. This will drive up utility spending.
- Set, or program, your thermostat and forget about it. Constantly fiddling with your thermostat can make your system run longer than it needs to, can result in more frequent on and off cycles, and can overall lead to poorer home comfort.
- Shade your condenser. A shaded condenser is a more efficient condenser. Just make sure that it adheres to the rules in #5.
- Maximize airflow around your air condenser. Plants and any other thing that could obstruct air flow should be a least 2 feet away from your air conditioner. Maximize airflow results for maximum efficiency.
- Keep up with filter changes. Again, maximum airflow means maximum efficiency. A dirty filter cannot only reduce indoor air quality, but it can also reduce airflow and make your air conditioner’s job harder.
- DO NOT use registers for temperature control. When you open and close registers, it tampers with the cooling load your air conditioner is meant to cool. This can cause damage to your system and reduce home comfort.
- If you need specialized control for each room in your house…invest in a zoning system. You can divide your home by rooms or groups of rooms for customized home comfort and maximum efficiency.
- Set your thermostat at a reasonable temperature. A thermostat set at a lower temperature does not necessarily cool any more quickly. Your air conditioner will actually just run longer – driving up utility bills.
- And the most important thing…keep up with yearly spring preventative maintenance. Your contractor can make sure your system is in tip-top shape and operating at expected efficiency levels.
So, what do you do to make sure that your air conditioner is working at maximum efficiency levels?
A zoning system would be really great. Then everyone could have there own set of temperatures without putting stress on the HVAC system. I wonder how hard it would be to install that in an already existing home.
I am always looking for new ways to save money on air conditioning. Living in Tennessee, it can be really easy to just hit that down arrow on the thermostat when it gets too hot inside the house. We do a pretty good job on keeping up on the filter changes which has been really helpful to my wallet. I like the tip about shading the condenser, I will have to look into that one. Thank you for sharing!
Having an air conditioning unit that runs efficiently and smoothly can really help you save money from month to month. A lot of people don’t really service or make small repairs to their unit until it stops working completely. It is always a great idea to get it checked at least once a year, preferably before the summer months come in full force.
I really appreciate these tips on how to maximize air conditioning efficiency. I really hate being hot, so we have our air conditioning on all the time, so these tips should really help us save money. I like the tip you gave of keeping it set at the same temperature. I always thought that if I made it hotter while I was gone that would help save money, but it is interesting to learn that the less you change it the better. Thanks for the information!
I like the idea of setting the thermostat and forgetting about it. I can definitely see that changing the temperature a lot could reduce the unit’s efficiency. I’ll have to keep this in mind for this summer, as I want to make sure my home is more efficient with my new air conditioning.
My husband really likes to fiddle with the thermostat! He seems to never be happy with what the temperature is. I will have to try and talk him into having a set system so that we are able to save some money on our air conditioning.
One more that it’s not mentioned above is that if you are using an HVAC unit with ducts you need to clean them periodically in order to save you money.
I like that you point out that it is important to keep a clean air filter. I can see why some people might forget to change or clean it regularly. I know that my dad has a calendar reminder in his phone to help him keep track of when to change it. I’ll have to ask him how often he has it set to.
I would also add ductwork leakage as that can be a huge loss of efficiency as well.
Regular maintenance of the air conditioning system increases its lifespan significantly. I always recommend hiring HVAC technicians.. they can easily recognize if there’s something wrong with the system and fix it in no time.
My dad has an AC that doesn’t cool the home as, much as it used to. It could be really nice to get a new one installed by a professional. It was interesting to see that you should shade your condenser.