With scorching summer temperatures, your air conditioner works hard to keep you cool and comfortable in your home. However, if it is forced to work too hard, the air conditioning unit could cost you more in energy bills and possibly get damaged.
Here are a few tips to help keep your air conditioning unit running at peak efficiency for longer:
1. Adjust thermostat setting appropriately
After spending a long day outside with scorching summer temperatures, the first thing you want to do is set the AC on full blast. However, setting the thermostat to a colder setting than normal will not make the room cool faster. In fact, the colder setting will make the AC work harder unnecessarily, increasing your energy bills.
Although it is tempting to set the thermostat at 72 degrees, the Department of Energy recommends that you keep it at a higher temperature (preferably 78 degrees) since the closer the indoor temperature is to the temperature outside, the lower the cost of electricity. Actually, every degree below 78 degrees increases your energy bill by 3-4 percent.
2. Use a Programmable Thermostat
A system that kicks in only when needed can save you up to 15 percent on your cooling costs.
3. Get a Fan
Fans use considerably less electricity than AC units, plus they help distribute the cool air produced by your AC evenly while creating a wind-chill effect against your skin. This helps the room feel 4-6 degrees cooler, and helps you resist the urge to turn down the thermostat further.
4. Clear the Vents
The AC cools your rooms by pushing cold air through the vents, so they should be kept clear from blockages that cause it to work harder. To do this:
- Clear the vents of any debris routinely
- Avoid placing obstacles, like furniture or drapes in front of vents
5. Avoid Generating Too Much Heat
During summer, consider serving fruits and salads instead of using the oven. You can also substitute those hot relaxing baths with quick warm or cold showers to reduce the amount of heat indoors.
6. Keep the AC well maintained
Filters, coils, and fins in your AC can accumulate dirt and debris as they draw in air. This is a particularly big concern when using an external air conditioner unit because it is located outside. Occasionally turn off the AC and brush/rinse the fins and coils. Filters should be checked every month and cleaned or changed as needed.
Finally, keep the exterior doors and windows closed so the cold air does not escape.
It is recommended that you get your air conditioner checked by a professional at least once a year to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.