As the warmer months draw near, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your air conditioning unit better. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and tactics to keep your AC in optimal condition, decrease energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Constantly altering the thermostat makes your cooling system work harder, increasing energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To optimize efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re inside the residence. Then, refrain from touching it. If you start to get hot, peel away a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without changing the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For optimum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees above your standard setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” consider installing a programmable thermostat. This simple upgrade allows you to schedule temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and not wasting energy when you’re out.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it has to. To reduce heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows during the hottest part of the day. Window coverings with light-colored backings are the most effective at reflecting sunlight.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Blocked or closed air vents throw off your air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and raising operating expenses. To prevent this, always keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are hindered by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Running fans in conjunction with your HVAC system circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while slightly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, specifically, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, enabling you to set the temperature higher without giving up comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering produce heat and humidity. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling workload. Additionally, ensure that your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your house.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
High humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier removes unwanted moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while consuming substantially less electricity than operating the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location affects its effectiveness considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shelters it during the hottest part of the day for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest part of the day, consider planting a tree or using a screen to shade it. Just make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hamper airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes cause indoor heat gain, making your HVAC system work harder. Doing these activities later in the day when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest hours of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A dirty filter restricts airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it routinely to promote maximum performance. Many basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the recommended replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts waste significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spots in your home including the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork preserves system efficiency and reduces energy spending.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Scheduled tune-ups are crucial to keep your AC running properly. Employ a licensed professional to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This preventative measure extends your HVAC system's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to uncover and deal with potential issues before they become high-priced problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Oklahoma City
At Gordon's Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Oklahoma City. Our customers choose us again and again for our unparalleled know-how and dedication to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Work with our crew at to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.