While you enjoy the cooling comfort your air conditioner brings to your home, the same can't be said of your summertime cooling bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for nearly half of your monthly utility costs.
With temperatures edging towards the triple digits, there's a good chance you're looking for ways to reduce your cooling costs. The following tips can help you improve your air conditioner's energy efficiency and cut down your utility bills in the process.
Keep Your Coils Clean
Your air conditioner uses its evaporator and condenser coils to absorb and transfer heat away from your home's indoor spaces. Over time, buildup from dust, debris and even algae and mold can collect between the coil fins, making it impossible for air to flow through. Without this airflow, your A/C can't keep your home cool and comfortable.
Check the evaporator and condenser coils for any signs of buildup. If you do spot any buildup, use a soft bristle brush and warm, soapy water to gently clean the coils without damaging the fragile coil fins. You can always have a professional perform this task if you don't have the time or feel comfortable doing it yourself.
Use Ceiling Fans to Aid Cooling
If your home has ceiling fans, you can use these to take some of the load off your air conditioner. When set to rotate counterclockwise, ceiling fans can help circulate cool air throughout your entire home. In addition, your ceiling fans can also produce a wind chill effect that helps you feel cooler without having to lower your thermostat temperatures.
Reduce Heat Gain
Open windows can make a room feel light and airy, but it can also introduce radiant heat your that air conditioner has to work against. To reduce your A/C system's workload and improve its energy efficiency, consider keeping your curtains and blinds closed during the hottest points of the day.
Shade Your Outdoor Cabinet
Direct exposure to sunlight can make the components in your A/C system's outdoor cabinet work harder, resulting in increased energy consumption and reduced cooling performance. If possible, consider using natural shrubbery or a well-placed awning to shield your A/C unit against direct sunlight.
Consider Insulating Exposed Ductwork
Leaks aren't the only ductwork issue that can rob your home of its cool, conditioned air. Heat from unconditioned spaces can also radiate through uninsulated ductwork, resulting in cooling losses. Have a professional, like those from Universal Refrigeration, inspect and insulate your ductwork using the proper insulating material at the proper thickness.