We wanted to share what we know about keeping your system running efficiently. A central air conditioner accounts for about 5 percent of the energy used in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Similarly, cooling systems account for about 6 percent of the energy use in homes. In addition to helping reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere, running your central air conditioner efficiently can lower its energy consumption by up to 20 percent or more.  Keeping your home comfortable and saving on your energy bills is as simple when you follow the tips below.

Maintain the Central Air Conditioner’s Filters

When you clean or replace the filter, you enhance the air conditioner’s efficiency by 5 to 15 percent. To increase AC unit efficiency, filters should be cleaned or replaced regularly, per the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure its efficiency and increase its lifespan. When dirt and debris clog a filter, air doesn’t flow through it as easily, which makes the unit work harder. Furthermore, when air flows through a dirty air filter it may carry debris with it, which could hinder the evaporator coil’s ability to absorb heat.

Keep the Area around the Unit Clear

To help maximize your air conditioner’s efficiency, keep the area around the unit free of objects and foliage to increase airflow and keep its components clean. When you place a large item behind a box fan, it can’t intake air as efficiently. The same concept is applicable to air conditioners. If you do have plants and shrubs around the unit, cut them back so they are at least 2 feet away.

Clean the Air Conditioner

When dirt and debris build-up on the outer walls of a central air conditioner the airflow is reduced. Follow these simple tips to clean your air conditioner:
  1. Turn off the unit’s power.
  2. Remove any leaves, branches and debris in the unit’s condenser fins, the thin metal mesh on the outside of the A/C.
  3. Vacuum the fins using a soft-bristled brush attachment, taking care not to bend them.
  4. Remove the grill from the top of the A/C and vacuum around the motor.
  5. Wipe down the fan blades with a damp cloth.

Set the Right Temperature

While personal preferences differ, the ideal temperature setting for a central air conditioner is about 78° Fahrenheit. For every degree that you raise the thermostat above 78° while it’s on the cooling setting, you save up to 10 percent more on your cooling costs. Efficiently cool your home by using ceiling fans set on the lowest setting to circulate cold air throughout your home. Doing this allows you to keep the temperature on the thermostat higher and put less pressure on the AC to cool your home.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

You don’t need to keep the air in your home as cool when you’re not there. A programmable thermostat is a small investment that can help save you money because tell the air conditioner to cool the air at the right times of the day.

Schedule Professional Maintenance Every Year

Like a car, a central air conditioner is a big investment. Just as you take your car into the shop for a tune-up, you should have an HVAC contractor look at the unit every year. When a professional services your air conditioner, they will make sure the various parts have sufficient lubrication and will make adjustments that will help increase the efficiency of your system. They will also let you know about minor problems that need attention before they become expensive repairs in the future. Call Cozy Comfort Today for a home heat evaluation, or for any of your repair needs. (303) 357-9807