In our previous blog post, we talked about a very important air conditioning service that could help boost efficiency and ultimately save you money–professional maintenance. maintenance is essential in keeping your cooling system operating as effectively and efficiently as possible, for as long as possible!
But this isn’t the only thing that impacts efficiency. Professional maintenance is vital yes–it allows our technicians to do what we do best and work on your air conditioner to make sure it’s working well! But there are actually steps you can be taking at home, between maintenance sessions, to keep improving that efficiency and save yourself some more money. Read on to learn what these steps are!
Set the Thermostat to a Reasonable Temperature
There’s a common habit among homeowners that can actually be hurting their air conditioner efficiency. That is, they set the thermostat a lot lower than it needs to be, thinking it will cool their home down faster. On the contrary, all this does is make the air conditioner run longer to try to reach the temperature setting.
Most people are comfortable around 78°F, so on a warmer day, try a setting around here for maximum air conditioning efficiency! Your system will drain less energy and therefore help lower your utility bills.
Keep the Outdoor Unit Unobstructed
The outdoor unit of your air conditioner, also called the condenser cabinet, is where your air conditioner exhausts the heat that it removes from indoors. It can’t effectively or efficiently do this if the cabinet grill is dirty, or if tree branches, lawn mulch, or brush are obstructing it.
You’ll want to clear away any debris to leave about a foot of space on all sides of the outside AC unit. Clean off the dirt and grime with a low-pressured hose (low-pressured so that you don’t damage the coils) and be sure to check on your system about once a month during seasons of use.
Open Your Room Vents and Clean Off Registers
Homeowners often think that if they want more cooling in one room than they do in another, then they can simply close the vent to the room(s) they don’t need cooling in. Now, there are zone control systems and ductless systems that allow for this zoned cooling (and heating).
However, the standard central air conditioner is not set up for this, and doing this can actually make the unit less efficient as it creates an imbalance in air pressure. This can ultimately cause the air conditioner to run longer than it should have to because the thermostat can’t detect when the temperature has gotten to where it needs to be.
You’ll also want to make sure the registers are cleaned off to remove dust and other debris that can impact airflow.
Change Your Air Filter!
The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC systems is in place to protect those systems from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and damage their sensitive components.
This air filter, depending on the type of filter it is and the level of contaminants in your home, should be swapped out for a new one every 1-3 months to maintain efficiency.