With energy costs continually on the rise, we’re all looking for ways to save money when it comes to home air conditioning costs. With three-quarters of homes in the U.S. utilizing air conditioners, the annual energy consumption cost weighs in at around $29 billion for homeowners. With most of Florida having a tropical climate, consumption figures are even higher.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, air conditioning in the state of Florida accounts for 27% of home energy expenditures. This equates to an average annual residential air conditioning expenditure of between $400 and $500. The good news is that there are some great ways to improve your air conditioner efficiency and save money while doing it!
Change That Air Conditioning Filter
Over time, your air conditioner filter can build up excess dirt and dust which reduces the airflow, in turn, slowing down your machine. This means that your air conditioner is required to work harder. Not only does this shorten its lifespan but it also consumes more energy. Getting your filter changed regularly will keep an easy and clean airflow into your home while saving you money.
Make Sure You Vent
Air Conditioning vents can easily get clogged up with debris. It’s a good idea to walk around your home and check your vents from time to time. If you notice any dust or pet hair in and around them, it’s time to clean them, preferably with a vacuum. You may also want to consider a routine comprehensive duct cleaning service as this will ensure that your entire duct system is working optimally.
Remember not to block vents with furniture or other items because it decreases the efficiency of your air conditioning system. It’s recommended to keep all of your vents open, as closing some vents can put additional pressure on your system and that can lead to a breakdown.
Clean Your AC Condenser
Usually positioned outside, your condenser can be prone to debris build-ups such as lawn clippings, twigs, and even junk. A thorough condenser clean should be done at least twice a year by turning off the AC power at the breaker and then removing any debris around the unit. The condenser will need a good hose down after cleaning.
Although it may be tempting to want to smooth out your air conditioner condenser blades, it’s recommended that you call a professional to do this so you don’t damage any of the blades.
Shade is Smart
Believe it or not, placing your air conditioners heat pump in the shade can save you on energy bills. If your pump sits out in the sun all day, it needs to work harder to cool down and create cool airflow throughout the home. It’s best to place it in a shaded area where it won’t need to overwork to keep the pump temperature down.
Just remember not to place it too close to bushes where airflow can be restricted. It’s recommended to keep the unit 24 inches away from any plants.
Adjusting your temperatures by a few degrees every few months can help save you money. Lowering it a little in the winter and adjusting it a little higher in the summer will help you to moderate energy costs as your air conditioner won’t need to work as hard to maintain the desired temperature. If you know you’re going to be away for a few days, you can even put the system off for a few days if no one is staying in your home.
Insulation Is Key
You could be losing some of your conditioned air if your home isn’t insulated properly. Adding insulation to your walls or windows can help tremendously. And remember to keep your windows closed to keep the conditioned air from escaping. Insulating your pipes and outlets will also prevent any extra energy loss. If you’re wondering why your house is so hot, then insulation needs to be thought about thoroughly to ensure that your home is kept cool.
One of the best ways to keep your air conditioner running efficiently is to get in the professionals to conduct a regular maintenance program. Art Plumbing, AC & Electric have a comprehensive team of Home Comfort Specialists dedicated to helping you with all of your air conditioning maintenance needs.