You might have always thought that in order to really boost your home air conditioning system’s efficiency, you’d need to invest thousands bringing experienced professionals to install Actron units all shiny and new. In fact, there are plenty of ways that you can boost your existing air conditioning efficiency with zero or minimal cost to yourself.
Here are some ways you can quickly improve your home AC efficiency:
- Clean and Maintain the Condenser Unit
The condenser unit is the outdoor portion of your home AC (or heat pump) that is designed to either collect or release heat depending on whether it’s cooling or heating your home. The condenser takes in high-pressure gas from the compressor and converts that to liquid via heat transfer. You might think that cleaning this unit is something you can’t do yourself, but you can with the right tool and some knowhow.
Regardless if you do this yourself, or if you hire a professional to come and do it, cleaning and properly maintaining the condenser will ensure that your AC is always running at peak efficiency, and that’s the way to save energy (and money) over time.
- Vacuum Your Vents
Where you have AC vents in your home, you should always use the vacuum cleaner up there to keep them clear of dust and other debris that can build up over time. The more debris that gets lodged up there, the less efficient the system is because the harder it has to work to keep enough air flowing. Your car works on this same principle when its filters are getting clogged. The engine works harder and consumes more petrol.
Keeping your vents clean means a steady and more efficient airflow in your come. On top of that, you’re also lowering the risk of fire in your home. Vents clogged up with dust are a common cause of house fires.
- Adjust the Temperature Just a Couple of Degrees
Adjusting the temperature just 2 or 3 degrees either way from the max can make a huge difference to our overall energy consumption. We often throw up the heat or push down the temperature as far as we can, driven by our feelings of cold or heat at that moment. We may think that pushing the numbers as far up or down as possible is a good way to make ourselves more comfortable faster.
Let’s say you like to push the AC down to a very chilly and blissful 16 degrees on a superlatively hot day. Bumping that up to 19-20 degrees will not make the room less comfortable, but will mean significant savings. The more extreme you set the temperature, the more energy is required to maintain it.
- Keep Thermostat Clear of Heat-Producing Appliances
When you set your thermostat to a target temperature, say a comfortable 20 degrees on a warm evening. You need to be wary of what items you might have placed near to your thermostat that are fooling the AC system into believing it has a long way to go to achieve the needed temperature.
For instance, it’s quite common for people to leave household lamps in places close to wall-mounted thermostats. The heat from a lamp can be enough for the thermostat to believe that the room has not yet reached the target temperature (even if it has). It will continue to push for that target, using up more and more energy. Therefore, keep heat-producing appliances away from the thermostat.
- Close Curtains and Blinds, Or Increase Natural Shade
Finally, instead of over-relying on your AC system, why not instead work to cool your home using curtains and blinds to block out strong sun during the hottest parts of the day? It can make a huge difference and at least make it possible for more energy-efficient AC settings to be used. If you have space around your home, you might also consider planting shade-giving trees to deflect some of the sun’s rays.