How can I save energy on my air conditioner?
To make your home comfortable in the summer you have several options ranging from simply opening windows to installing a central air conditioning system.
- Install insulation
Installing insulation is generally one of the best things you can do to reduce your home’s cooling costs. That’s because up to 20% of your home’s air conditioning can be lost to the great outdoors.
- Shade your house
Use landscaping, awnings, and overhangs to provide shade around the outside of your home. A shaded house is easier to cool than one in direct sunlight. There are even white reflective roof paints available that can reduce air conditioning costs.
- Set and leave it
The best temperature for your air conditioner’s thermostat is 78°F or higher. If you don’t want to come home to a hot house, considering installing a programmable thermostat.
- Use fans instead
The average central AC system uses between 3 to 5 kWh per hour. If you ran at 3,500 Watts AC unit for 8 hours every day for a month that would cost you about $56 (Vera 2017 rates).
On the other hand, a fan uses 1 kWh per hour. And generally, you only use the fan when you are in that room. So, the savings could be huge.
- Turn it off
If you plan to leave for a few minutes or more, turn your fan off. Running it while you’re not there is a definite energy waster.
- Maintain it
Proper maintenance helps your air conditioner run more efficiently. Replace disposable filters or clean permanent filters every few months during the cooling season. It’s a good idea to have your entire system checked annually by a qualified air conditioning contractor.
- Watch those windows
During the cooler morning and evening hours, open your windows and use the outside air to cool your home. During the heat of the day, close the draperies and blinds to keep the warm sun out. Consider installing reflective films or solar shade screens on windows with the greatest exposure to summer sun this can help keep your furniture and carpet from fading, too.
- Keep it as cool as possible
Install your air conditioner out of the direct sunlight.
- Keep vents clear
An obstructed vent wastes both energy and money.
- Keep it in
First, keep your doors and windows closed when you have the air conditioner on. Second, weather-strip and caulk your doors and windows to seal in cool air.