13 Air Conditioning Efficiency Tips for Kansas City Homeowners

You may not think twice about turning up the air conditioning when it’s scorching hot outside—until you see your energy bill. Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the standard U.S. home’s annual energy expenditures and up to 70% of your utility spending during the summer. If you’re frustrated by spending too much for air conditioning, try these 13 tips to improve AC efficiency and save money on your monthly expenditures.

  1. Prioritize routine upkeep: Dirt and debris build up in your air conditioner over time, lowering efficiency. Plan annual maintenance to have a technician clean your unit’s coils, switch out the filter, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and more. An annual inspection also makes it possible for your serviceman to discover and fix any potential issues before they become major problems.
  2. Keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions: Loose debris and nearby flowers growing around your air conditioner can reduce airflow and make the system work harder. Look at the unit throughout the summer, pruning back vegetation and removing debris as needed to keep your cooling system working properly.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat enables you to set automatic temperatures based on your lifestyle. In the summer, program a higher temperature when you’re away from your residence and have it resume a comfortable temperature before you get back. This lowers electrical consumption and saves money without decreasing comfort.
  4. Try to avoid overriding programmed settings: While you are able to override the temperature on your programmable thermostat, try turning on a fan or removing a layer of clothes before you change the setting. When you want to adjust the temperature, do so by just a degree or two. Cranking down the temperature won’t cool your home any more rapidly and only serves to needlessly consume power.
  5. Make use of the auto fan setting: While fan-only mode spreads air to keep rooms from becoming stuffy, HVAC professionals suggest using this setting sparingly. “Auto fan” is the more efficient setting because the blower only runs when the rest of the AC does, preventing unnecessary power waste.
  6. Prevent solar heat gain: Closing blinds and curtains, installing outside awnings and applying window film helps block the sun’s heat to keep your property cooler. These methods are most useful on south- and west-facing windows where the sun shines directly inside the house.
  7. Install the outdoor components in the shade: Direct sunlight makes your system to work harder and reduces efficiency. So, if possible, position the condensing unit so it’s shaded in the afternoon.
  8. Keep your air vents open: It’s a common misconception that closing the vents in unused rooms helps you to save energy. Unfortunately, this throws off the supply and return air symmetry, making your AC much less efficient. Generally speaking, keep at least 80% of your registers open continuously and make sure no vents are hindered by rugs, curtains or furniture.
  9. Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner: Ceiling fans move air throughout the room, generating a wind chill effect that makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This could allow you to turn up the temperature a few degrees without feeling uncomfortable, reducing your dependence on the air conditioner and bringing down your bills.
  10. Use a dehumidifier: High humidity creates a “cool but clammy” feeling, which is an uncomfortable sensation that may compel you to repeatedly lower the temperature. Actually, you need less humidity, instead of cooler air. Running a whole-house dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, making your home feel more comfortable for a fraction of the cost of air conditioning.
  11. Use natural ventilation wisely: When it’s hot and humid outside, keep your windows and doors closed to restrict cool air from escaping. If you live somewhere with cool summer evenings, open the windows and doors overnight to cool off the house naturally, reducing the strain on your air conditioner.
  12. Seal air leaks: Leaky windows and doors let hot summer air inside of the house even when closed, making it more challenging and more expensive to keep things cool. Seal leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside of your home where it should be.
  13. Seal duct leaks: A standard home loses 20% or more of the conditioned air flowing through it to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Call a professional to seal your ductwork and put an end to this energy waste.

If you still have comfort problems or large energy bills after trying out these tips, turn to Neal Harris Service Experts for help. We [can|are able to|will]130] diagnose and repair air conditioning problems, provide preventive maintenance, or replace your outdated, poorly performing system with a brand-new, high-efficiency model. For your peace of mind, we support everything we do with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! Get in touch with a Service Experts office near you today to learn more or request air conditioning services in Kansas City.

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