Boost Air Conditioner Efficiency and Reduce Cooling Costs

July 22, 2014
Ross and Witmer

Things are heating up in North Carolina. How are your air conditioning bills looking? If they’re higher than you would like, consider these tips to boost air conditioner efficiency and reduce cooling costs:

Reduce A/C Use

Use these tips to decrease the amount you run the air conditioner:

  • Only turn on the A/C if opening windows and doors is inadequate to keep you comfortable.
  • Close the windows and doors when operating the air conditioner.
  • Turn the temperature up 8 to 10 degrees when you leave home for the day.
  • Minimize indoor heat and humidity by only running the dishwasher, clothes dryer and oven in the early morning or late evening.
  • Shower with the bathroom exhaust fan on.

Increase Your Comfort Range with Ceiling Fans

Running a ceiling fan creates a cooling wind-chill effect that makes you feel three or four degrees cooler. That means you feel comfortable with the thermostat set to 78 degrees, because it feels like 74 degrees with the fan running.

Each degree you raise the thermostat on a consistent basis, you boost air conditioner efficiency by 3 to 5 percent. Just remember to turn off the fan when no one’s in the room since the wind-chill effect cools people, not the air.

Clean the HVAC Air Filter Regularly

Check the filter once a month and change it when it appears dirty, waiting no more than three months between filter replacements. If you allow the filter to become so dirty that it impedes airflow, it could spoil A/C efficiency and even damage the system.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance Every Spring

You can do a few maintenance tasks yourself – such as changing the filter, hosing down the outdoor unit and vacuuming the evaporator coil – but only a professional can perform other important tasks, including:

  • Recharge the refrigerant to boost air conditioner efficiency by up to 20 percent.
  • Measure and adjust airflow over the evaporator coil to improve performance by 5 to 10 percent.
  • Seal and insulate the ductwork for an extra 10 to 15 percent performance boost.

For more on how to boost air conditioner efficiency, please contact us at Ross & Witmer, your Charlotte area HVAC experts.

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