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Smart Tricks to Increase Air Conditioner Efficiency

Without a doubt, keeping your home cool in the summer is one of your biggest expenses. Though central air conditioning units are generally much more efficient than window units, they still use a tremendous amount of energy. There are several simple ways to increase air conditioner efficiency without compromising comfort. By following these tips, you will both save money and decrease your impact on the environment by using less energy.

To begin with, change your air filters at least every three months. Nothing decreases your unit's efficiency more than dirty filters. When the filters are dirty, the unit has to work harder, which uses more energy, drives your electric bill up and damages the unit. It is much more economical to pay a few dollars for filters than to pay a higher electric bill or buy a new air conditioning unit.

Take care of your central air unit! Keep debris cleared away from the vents and coils. Dead leaves, grass and dust accumulate on it and block the airflow that the unit needs to operate efficiently. Have it serviced at least once per year to ensure that there are no leaks. When freon leaks out of your system, it not only causes it to work harder, but also damages the ozone.

Try to keep the thermostat set at 78 when you are home and turn it up to 80 when you leave. There is no need to keep the house cold if you are not there to enjoy it. This can save as much as twenty percent on your electric bill and will also increase air conditioner efficiency because it doesn't have to work so hard.

Do chores that raise the temperature in the house either early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature outside is lower. Activities such as drying clothes and using the drying cycle on the dishwasher heat up the house and cause the air conditioner to work harder. Also, use the exhaust fan on the stove when you cook to pull the heat out of the house.

Use ceiling fans to help circulate air and provide a breeze. Fans use much less energy than the air conditioner and the breeze keeps a room from feeling stuffy, even if the temperature is a degree or two higher. Turn off the fans when you leave the room. Also, keep the vents open in all rooms, even if you don't use the room frequently. Closing the vents disrupts the airflow and causes the system to work harder.

Finally, use drapes, blinds or shutters on windows that face the sun. Natural light is great but it also heats up a room quickly. Even using window treatments that filter out part of the light helps tremendously. This also has the added advantage of keeping your rugs and furniture from fading.

It is easy to increase air conditioner efficiency without sacrificing personal comfort or convenience if you just think ahead. Following these few simple tricks will not only save you money, but also decrease your energy consumption and your impact on the environment. It is estimated that heating and cooling accounts for five to ten percent of energy consumption, so even small changes can make a huge impact both on your wallet and on the earth.

What You Can Do
Spread the word
  • Tell people you conserve energy and use enery efficient appliances.
  • Read a book that explains how to conserver energy.
  • Look for small ways you can conserve energy every day.
Where you can buy it
Your Complete Guide To Renewable Energy
Your Green Home
The Party's Over: Oil, War And The Fate Of Industrial Societies
Get the Facts
Why Conserve Energy - National Wildlife Federation
Conserve Energy - Help Save the World
Reduce Energy - U.S. Dept. of Energy

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