Air Conditioning 101: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks You Should Know

Woman enjoying the AC in her living room.
Keeping your AC running efficiently will help you stay cool all summer.

During the scorching summer months, it’s hard to imagine life without your trusted air conditioning unit. However, as the degrees drop inside your home, your electric bill can also head in the opposite direction. When faced with skyrocketing bills, it is tempting to give up your AC or live much more warmly from day-to-day.

Fortunately, there are ways you can stay cool during summer without spending a fortune. Beat the summer heat, save money, and keep your air conditioning unit in peak shape by keeping the following AC tricks, tips, and hacks in mind:

Maintain Your AC Unit Accordingly

While you will need to invest in home AC repair at one point or another, there are countless ways you can take care of your unit so it lasts for a long time and runs as efficiently as possible.

Maintaining your AC unit properly starts by replacing the filter as needed. When you replace a clogged or dirty filter with a clean one, you can easily lower your energy consumption by as much as 5 to 15%. Ideally, should check your AC filter monthly and replace it as you see fit. If you use your AC constantly, you may need to replace your AC more frequently.

Stop the Sun

When it comes to escaping the sun, curtains, drapes, and blinds are some of the most popular energy-efficient options available at your disposal. Pick the combination that works best for you, especially if you reside in an area that experiences intense winter cold and summer heat.

For instance, you can reduce unwanted solar heat through your windows by as much as 80% by using tightly installed cellular shades. Slat-type blinds can also be adjusted so you can control light, glare, and solar heat gain.

If you reside in a place requiring longer AC cooling sessions, consider using window film since it can help block against solar heat gain while protecting against ultraviolet exposure and glare. For maximum benefit, it is recommended that you use film on the west and east-facing windows because of their greater potential for heat gain.

Reverse the Rotation

If you want to boost the cooling impact of your AC, using ceiling fans would be a good idea. It will not only save energy, but it can also help save money. If you use a ceiling fan together with your AC unit, you can raise your thermostat setting by 4 degrees without any reduction in comfort.

If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your ceiling fan, ensure the fan is directing air downward. This is counterclockwise on most models. If you are not feeling any breeze, you can turn off the fan and find the button or switch that controls the direction of the fan’s airflow and move it to the other end.

Tweak the Temperature on Your AC

It won’t be practical to run your AC if no one is there to enjoy it. Using a WiFi thermostat will give you the option to set the temperature higher when you are not around and then adjust it as you head back home.

If you don’t have a smart thermostat yet, make manual adjustments to ensure the temperature is high when the house is empty. You can also adjust it to be lower, so your comfort needs are met once you are back home.

Deter Drafts

If you have a window AC unit, you need to ensure you have a secure seal between the window frame and the unit to keep the air inside cool. A unit that is not installed properly can leak air.

Even with a strong seal intact, you need to make sure the unit is level so the inside drainage system and the other mechanisms work at peak efficiency.

If you would like to invest in a new AC unit, it would be ideal to opt for one with the ENERGY STAR label. An AC unit with an ENERGY STAR label will not only use 10% less energy, it also only costs around $70 per year to run.

Final Thought

If you want to make the most out of your air conditioning unit, save money, and reduce your environmental footprint, the tricks, tips, and hacks mentioned above can help you achieve said objectives.

About the Author: Sara Olsen is the Content Marketing Manager of Emergency Air, Arizona’s premier HVAC repair and service company with NATE-certified technicians and the best HVAC service in the quickest time. When not writing articles, she makes the most of her time with her family and gives back to the community.

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