With energy costs rising, it’s more crucial than ever to keep your air conditioning unit running efficiently. Why? Because your air conditioner is one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home.
It works hard to keep you cool and comfortable all day long. Thus, it’s only natural that you want to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a hefty energy bill each month.
And no one wants to look at a massive energy bill. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Check out these seven tips to get you started.
Vacuum Indoor Vents
You can’t have good airflow if your vents are full of dust bunnies. So at least once a month, use your vacuum’s hose attachment to suck up any dirt and dust around your indoor vents. Doing so will help ensure that cool air can flow freely throughout your home.
If your home has central air, you’ll also want to vacuum the vents on your outdoor unit. These can get just as dirty as indoor vents, if not dirtier. Be sure to turn off the power to the unit before cleaning it.
Your air conditioner will thank you for taking the time to clean its vents, and you’ll be able to enjoy the cool air all summer long.
Change Your Air Filter Regularly
A clean air filter is essential for two reasons: it helps remove allergens from the air and keeps your AC unit’s coils from freezing. Most filters should be changed every three months, but if you have pets or live in a dusty area, you may need to change them more often.
Check your filter monthly and write the date on the side of the unit so that you don’t forget when it needs to be changed again. Not changing your air filter can cause many problems. Allergens will build up in the filter, which can cause respiratory problems for people with allergies or asthma. A dirty filter can also cause your AC unit to freeze, which is a significant repair.
Check out any Air Conditioning Industries website, and they will tell you the same thing: a clean air filter is essential to the function of your AC unit. So don’t forget to change it regularly!
Insulate Any Exposed Ductwork
One of the things you can do to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning unit is to make sure that all of the ductwork is properly insulated. Any exposed ductwork will make your air conditioner work harder, using more energy and costing you more money.
You can find pre-cut insulation at most home improvement stores. Just make sure you get the right size for your ductwork. It is also a good idea to put some tape around the edges of the insulation to make sure it stays in place.
Keep Blinds and Curtains Closed
During the day, it’s best to keep your blinds and curtains closed. It will help to keep the heat out and your home cooler. Most importantly, your AC won’t have to work as hard, saving you money on your energy bill.
Slightly Turn Up the Thermostat
Another way to improve your AC’s efficiency is slightly turning up the thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it’s recommended to set your thermostat to 26°C or 78°F when you’re home.
Setting your AC to this level will let cool air circulate and keep you comfortable without working overtime. In addition, if you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to lower the temperature when you’re away or asleep automatically. You can help your AC unit last longer and run more efficiently by making these small changes.
Keep Heat-producing Appliances Away from Your Thermostat
Your thermostat senses the temperature in the room and turns on your AC unit when the room gets too warm. So, it stands to reason that you should keep heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat. It includes lamps, TV sets, computers, and sun-facing windows.
All of these can cause your thermostat to think the room is warmer than it is, and as a result, your AC unit will run more than necessary. Keep your thermostat in a cool, central location away from heat-producing appliances and windows, and you’ll save money on your energy bill.
Clear Your Drain Line
A clogged AC drain line can cause water leaks and decreased efficiency. If you notice your AC unit is leaking water, your drain line is likely clogged. So, how can you clear your AC drain line?
There are a few different ways to clear your AC drain line, but using a wet/dry vacuum is effective. Simply attach the vacuum to the drain line and turn it on. The vacuum will suck up any debris that’s clogging the line.
If you don’t have a wet/dry vacuum, you can try using a plunger. Put the plunger over the drain line and push and pull until the clog is dislodged. You can also try using a plumber’s snake.
Insert the snake into the drain line and turn it until you feel resistance. It will help to break up any clogs. Or you can flush one cup of bleach down the drain line once a month to help prevent clogs from forming.
While an air conditioner can make your home feel much cooler, it can also strain your energy bill. It’s especially true during the summer months because you’re likely to use your AC more often. The good news is that there are ways to increase the efficiency of your air conditioner so that it doesn’t use as much energy, such as cleaning the coils regularly.