A properly working and correctly installed air condition helps keep your home/office comfortable even when temperatures are hitting record highs outside.
However, the hot summer weather may be too much for the AC system, forcing it to work a little harder (and use more electricity) to keep your home/office cool. Left unchecked, energy bills from running the AC can soar through the roof. You, however, don’t have to switch the AC off to keep the bills manageable.
Outlined below are a few simple yet effective tips that can help save electricity in your air conditioning.
1. Invest in a smart thermostat and set the proper temperature (24°C)
Investing in an intelligent thermostat and selecting the correct room temperature (24 degrees instead of 18) can save you lots of energy in the long run.
The smart thermostat can be programmed to turn the AC ON or OFF depending on if someone is home or is already cool enough. This also reduces the chances of leaving the AC on, especially when no one is home.
2. Run the Ceiling Fan Alongside The AC
Although it might seem counterintuitive, adding and running a ceiling fan can help save lots of energy in the long run. While the fan might not help cool the room, it will help circulate cool air (from the ac) around the house, thus eliminating hot spots.
You, however, want to set the fans to push air downwards to help preserve and keep the room cool. Be sure to turn the ceiling fan ON only when someone is using the space. Leaving it ON even when the house is empty wastes energy and contributes to a higher energy bill.
3. Clean and Service the AC Regularly
A dirty and neglected AC system is more likely to consume more energy than a clean, well-serviced unit. That said, it would be advisable to dedicate at least an hour or so (during your free time) to check the condition of the AC, especially the outdoor unit and the air vents. Blocked and dirty air vents cause the system to struggle to keep the room cool.
Having the air vents cleaned and asking a certified technician to service the AC ensures it is working optimally. The technician will help detect and fix potential problems with the AC, extending its life exponentially.
4. Seal Windows, Doors, And Any Other Openings
Switching to more energy-efficient double/triple glazed windows can help improve your home’s thermal performance, hence more energy savings. If this isn’t a viable option, for now, you want to fish for cracks and gaps between the windows and doors and then seal them off using caulk.
Sealing all the openings off will help prevent cool air from leaking out of the house and hot air from coming in.
5. Deploy Smart Technology (Programmable Thermostat)
A programmable thermostat is a handy tool that can be programmed to cut energy usage when no one is home if everyone is asleep. You can even invest in a smart thermostat capable of ‘learning’ or adapting to your temperature preferences automatically.
A smart thermostat can be configured to turn the AC OFF a few minutes after leaving the house and ON just before you set foot in the house. A smart thermostat can see you save more than 35% of your AC’s energy consumption.
6. Invest in The Right-Sized AC for Your Home
Installing an AC that is too small/big for your home can translate to huge energy bills. A tiny AC will strain to keep your home cool, while the larger one will only waste energy in the process. For this reason, you want to invest in the right-sized AC for your home/office.
Talk to a local supplier/installer for help identifying and picking the right air conditioner for your home.
7. Make Proper Use of Curtains, Blinds, And Shades
Window treatments/coverings shouldn’t only be used for beauty and aesthetics but to help prevent the hot sun rays from penetrating through and warming your home. Investing in heavy-duty window coverings, such as blackout curtains, can help deflect heat from the sun rays from coming in.
Window awnings can also help prevent the warm sun rays from hitting or penetrating through the glass windows. Preventing heat gain allows the AC to work optimally without breaking a sweat or using too much energy.
8. Clean or Replace Dirty/Broken AC Filters
The average HVAC filters have an average lifespan of around 4.5 months. Dirty or broken filters can have a considerable impact on the AC’s performance and energy consumption. This is one of the reasons manufacturers and experts recommend changing the air filters at least once every 90 days.
You might also want to clean/wash the air filters to remove dust, dirt, and mould that might have accumulated with continued use. Failure to clean or change the air filters can translate to increased energy consumption and poor indoor air quality.
9. Turn on The AC Fan Mode
Unknown to many, turning on the HVAC fan mode can translate to substantial energy savings in the long run. Sadly, very few people actually use this feature. Activating this feature allows the AC’s compressor to idle for much longer, reducing the system’s demand for more energy. You thus might want to turn this mode on in summer when temperatures are quite high.
10. Upgrade to An Inverter Air Conditioner
Inverter air conditioners are remarkably more energy efficient and run more quietly as compared to the older types. If your AC system is more than five years old, you should then consider switching to the more energy-efficient inverter air conditioner.
The inverter AC never turns completely off (like the older systems do) but rather varies fan and compressor speeds to help keep your home cool more efficiently. Changing the AC’s fan and compressor speeds means the system won’t demand lots of energy to run efficiently. It is also considered more efficient, environmentally friendly, and safe to use in residential applications.
Taking proper care of your AC system through regular servicing and repair and adopting the tips and ideas outlined above can help bring your energy bills down. You might also want to switch to a more energy-efficient AC system, especially if the current setup is approaching its end of life. Call a trusted and certified technician or supplier for help choosing the right AC fitting your specific needs.