How To Reduce The Energy Impact Of Your Air Conditioner

Depending on where you live, your air conditioner could account for the majority of your energy consumption.  If you have a high energy bill and often use your AC, you need to look at ways to reduce the energy impact that it has.  This will not only be good for your bank account, it will also be beneficial to the environment.

Having your home that is slightly cooler than the outside temperature will be more comfortable than you might think.  This is due to relative temperature which affects the way that we perceive the temperatures in different locations.  This means that if the temperature outside is 100 degrees, you do not have to make the inside temperature 60 degrees.  Having your home at 77 to 78 degrees will feel cooler than outside and is actually only slightly higher than the ideal room temperature.

This slight drop in temperature between the outside and inside will make you feel a lot more comfortable when you enter the home.  This is due to the fact that the body registers that the temperature is cooler than what it came from.  Additionally, when you use this temperature, your air conditioner will not have to work as long or as hard which reduces the energy impact.

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When looking at the thermostat, you should also consider having a digital one installed.  These are more accurate and ensure that you are correctly setting the system to the temperature that you want.  You will also be able to preset the temperatures for different times of the day with these thermostats.

The placement of your thermostat also needs to be considered as this will impact the energy efficiency of your AC.  If the thermostat is close to any heat-producing appliances or is in direct sunlight, the temperature gauge will not work correctly.  This means that the thermostat will think that the house is hotter than it actually is and activate the air conditioner accordingly.

  • Do Not Crank The Thermostat Down

There are a lot of people who assume that when you crank the thermostat way down, your home will cool faster.  This is a myth and air conditioners do not actually work like this.  What you are going to do is have your air conditioner run for much longer which will increase the amount of power that it uses.

Your air conditioner will have 2 settings and this is off and on. When the unit turns on, it will run at a steady pace until the house has been cooled to the set temperature.  Placing the thermostat very low will not increase the pace that the unit runs, it will only increase the run time as it takes longer for the unit to cool the house down to the set temperature.

Another issue with doing this is the fact that you generally forget to turn it back up.  This means that you are leaving your AC on a temperature that is hard to maintain without the unit running most of the time.  It is better to avoid doing this completely and stick to one temperature that is slightly lower than the outside temperature.

  • Choose The Right Central Air

A central air unit is the largest air conditioner that you can get and the largest user of energy.  If you have one of these units, there are a number of ways that you can reduce the energy impact.  The first is the look at how old the unit is.

Older central air units will not be as energy efficient as the modern units.  This is why you should look at replacing your unit if it is old.  A new central air unit will generally use around 40% less energy than an older one.

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You also need to ensure that your central air unit is the right size for your home.  If you have a small unit, it could struggle to cool your entire home and this will lead to more energy being used.  However, if you have a unit that is too large, it could cool your home quickly, but frequently turn on and off while doing nothing to reduce humidity.

  • Maintain Your Air Conditioner

One of the best ways to lower the energy impact of your air conditioner is to have it properly maintained.  You need to regularly check the air filters as clogged filters can cause a lot of problems.  When the air filters are clogged, the air will not move through the unit correctly and this will create problems for the cooling coils.

You should also look at having your air conditioner refrigerants and their application once a year..  If you use the AC a lot, you should increase this to twice a year.  This servicing will ensure that your unit is running at peak efficiency and that any parts that could cause problems are being replaced.

  •  Reduce The Solar Heat

The sun is the source of heat for our planet and it has the ability to heat any object that it shines on.  Your home is no different and will be heating up by the sun that you get.  Reducing the solar heat input in your home will also reduce the energy impact of your air conditioner.

One of the easiest ways to reduce the solar heat is to close the curtains on the windows that get direct sunlight.  This will stop the sunlight from hitting the interior of your home and heating it.  Heavier curtains will work better, but lighter curtains will also help.

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If you are looking for a less manual solution, you can install window tinting on the windows that get the direct sun.  This tinting has been designed to reduce the amount of UV light that enters your home and this will reduce the solar heat.  Of course, it is important to note that this could make the room colder during the winter and you need to keep that in mind.

If you are looking for a different solution, you can plant trees and shrubs around your home.  These plants will limit the amount of light that enters your home.  However, it is recommended that you plant deciduous trees and shrubs as they will allow light in during the winter.


Steffy Alen

Steffy Alen