1. Make sure your air conditioner is the proper size for the area you are cooling. The wrong size air conditioner will use more electricity and increase your energy bills. A unit that is too large for a given area will cool the area too quickly, causing the air conditioner to frequently turn itself on and off. If a unit shuts off quickly, chances are it hasn’t been running long enough to reduce the room’s humidity and you’ll be uncomfortable. If your air conditioner is too small, it will run constantly on hot days without ever achieving good results.
2. The location of your air conditioner has a lot to do with how efficient it will be. If you have a choice, locate your units on the north, east of the best-shaded side of your home. If the unit is exposed to direct sunlight, it has to work much harder and use more energy to cool your home. Keep shrubbery away from your air conditioner since it blocks vents and reduced the unit’s ability to exhaust air.
3. Regular maintenance will insure that your air conditioner operates efficiently throughout the summer. Check the filter once a month by holding it up to a bright light. If you can’t see though it, it’s time to clean or replace the filter. You can also check your owners guide to find out how to safely clean the condenser coils and fins on the outside of the unit.
4. On very hot days, you can save energy by closing the fresh air intake on your unit. Cooling fresh, war outside air requires more electricity than re-cooling the air that is already circulating in your home.
5. You can save on cooling costs by avoiding cooling rooms that are not occupied. If you like your home to be cool when you come home at the end of the day, special automatic timers for air conditioners are available that will turn the unit on before you arrive home.
6. On hot summer days, the temperature in your attic can reach 150 degrees. Improving the ventilation or increasing the insulation in your attic will lower the temperature of the entire house and make your air conditioner’s job a lot easier. Installing an attic fan that is controlled by a thermostat to exhaust the hot air or increasing the insulation factor in your attic can greatly improve the comfort of your home
7. Depending on the size of your home, you can save 3% on your cooling costs for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer. Raising the thermostat from 73 to 78 degrees can mean a savings of up to 15% in cooling costs.
8. Fans can make your air conditioner’s job easier while saving you money. Pedestal and ceiling fans improve the air circulation in your home, allowing you to raise the air conditioner’s thermostat. In moderate heat, fans can sometimes completely replace air conditioners. Ceiling fans use only about one tenth of the electricity of a typical home air conditioner.
9. To stay most comfortable during the hottest hours of the day, do your cooking, laundry and bathing in the early morning or late evenings. These activities all increase the level of humidity in your home, making it less comfortable and forcing the air conditioner to work even harder. If other heat generating appliances, such as irons, ovens and blow dyers are used only in the early morning or late evening, your home will stay cooler.
10. Drapes, shades and awnings shield windows from the hot sun, keeping your home cooler. Your storm windows also came in handy during the summer since they keep cool air in and hot air out. Weatherstripping and caulking windows and door frames will also keep cool air from leaking out. Certain reflective films can be used on windows to screen out the hot rays of the sun without reducing the amount of light you receive. And, when doors and windows are shut, your air conditioner will operate more efficiently.