7 Tips for Reducing Your AC’s Power Consumption this Summer

Man using smart thermostat in home to adjust temperature

It is scorching in these dog days of summer in Florida and air conditioning is a lifesaver, but looking at our electricity bills can be enough to get our blood boiling. With the hottest months upon us and the wild fluctuations in temperature in September, our cooling units are putting in lots of hard work, and we are certainly paying for it.

The good news is, there are easy ways to reduce our AC's power consumption without spending a lot of cash. Here are some simple tips to save on that energy bill this season.

Turn the Temperature Up One Degree

The vast majority of people can't tell the difference between a one-degree temperature change. Turning up the thermostat up one degree and leaving it can mean that your air conditioning unit runs less often and uses less power.

As you lower the difference between the temperature outside versus the temperature inside, the less your unit has to work. Ensure that everyone at home knows not to lower the thermostat beyond the agreed-upon point so that the AC isn't turning on and off constantly, saving you money.

Add a Fan for Circulation

Did you know that through the wind-chill effect, a fan can make you feel up to seven degrees cooler? Using a fan in tandem with an AC aids in spreading the cold air, allowing you to raise the thermostat by up to four degrees without feeling the effects. Fans, especially energy-efficient fans consume less power; just be sure to remember to turn them off as soon as you leave the room.

Block Out the Sun During the Day

Using light-colored window treatments such as curtains, blinds, or shades that hang as close to the window panes as possible can reduce the effects of the sun by as much as 45%. The lighter colors reflect the sun's rays, which create radiant heat. Lighter colors also allow light to filter through, so you don't have the same effects as black-out curtains.

Save Heating Activities for Nighttime

Cooking on the stove or in the oven, running the dryer, or using the dishwasher generate a lot of heat that can raise the temperature in your home by a few degrees. Save the chores for after sunset and cook food outside on the grill or in the microwave to avoid creating additional heat in your home.

Other activities and items that generate heat are showering, computers, conventional light bulbs, and televisions. Shower at night or be sure to use the exhaust fan to remove heat and humidity. Save the binge-watching and computer work for evening time to avoid your AC working overtime. Consider upgrading to LED light bulbs which last for years and are 2-3 times cooler.

Program Your Thermostat

Most thermostats are programmable or can be upgraded to a programmable or smart thermostat. Program your thermostat to cool only when someone is home. This can be potentially huge savings.

Some automated or smart thermostats can even learn your schedule or be controlled with an app for ease of use. Before shopping for a smart thermostat, be sure to check that your unit is compatible. For more information check out Should Your Next Thermostat Be a Smart Thermostat?

Stay Up-to-Date on Regular Maintenance

This means cleaning your vents on a regular basis and making sure that none of them are blocked, which can restrict airflow. Blocked and dirty vents and air filters will prevent your air conditioner from running efficiently.

Improve efficiency, extend the life of your unit, and lower your bills by scheduling regular maintenance visits and tune-ups. A tune-up will improve indoor air quality, help avoid expensive repairs, and make your AC more dependable, among many other benefits: see Improve Your Home's Air Quality With an Annual Air Conditioner Tune-Up.

Retrofit the AC Unit

Retrofitting is kind of like a knee replacement for your air conditioner. It means installing new, more energy-efficient parts in an older unit, making it last longer and helping decrease costs. This is a good option for systems that have been well-maintained and in good condition.

There is one drawback to this solution: older units used a refrigerant called R-22 which is currently being phased out in the industry and replaced by a coolant that is safer for the environment. Retrofitting an AC unit that uses R-22 may be questionable as the coolant will no longer be available through your AC technician after 2020.

At American Air Cares, we care about your comfort and your bottom line. We provide expert service in maintenance, tune-ups, air filter changes, repairs, retrofitting, and replacement of your air conditioning units. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.