With Phoenix air conditioners running through long, hot summer days, energy efficiency is not a luxury. Knowing how to make an air conditioner work better saves you money, but it also increases the life of your system.
7 Ways to Make Your A/C Unit Blow Cold for Less Money
You get a greater return on your investment by knowing how to use air conditioner efficiently.
Keep Your Outside A/C Unit Out of the Sun
Dehumidify the Air in Your Home
Keep Your Curtains Closed in the Afternoon
Do Not Constantly Change Your Thermostat Settings
Ensure that All Exposed Ductwork is Properly Sealed
Don’t Run Appliances During Peak Hours of the Day
Get Regular HVAC Maintenance by Professionals
If you have not yet had your central air conditioner installed, ensure the outside unit will be located on the north side of your home to keep it out of the sun as much as practical. Overhanging trees can also shade it, but keep branches well away from the unit.
Make certain your central A/C is dehumidifying. Despite our desert air, any humidity in your home will make you less comfortable. A setting of 78 degrees with dehumidified air is as comfortable as a lower setting with higher humidity.
Close up the curtains in your home during the hottest part of the Phoenix summer day. They reflect infrared (heat) wavelengths of sunlight back outside, so your home stays cooler. Keep the drapes open in the evening to allow inside heat to radiate out.
Leave your thermostat settings alone. Constantly fiddling with the set points is highly energy inefficient. Agree on a daytime setting — 76 to 78 degrees is surprisingly comfortable for most people — and an empty house or overnight setting from 78 to 80 degrees.
Insulate all exposed ductwork in your home. Ducts running through attics are especially big energy hogs, since the hot attic fights the cooled air running through the ducts. Use either rigid insulation (in crawl spaces) or batts (in the attic) to protect that expensively cooled air.
Avoid using heat-producing devices (dishwasher, clothes dryer, stove) while the A/C is running. Anything that can be saved for overnight, when the air conditioner is running less often or at higher temperatures, increases efficiency. Run the dishwasher using the timer; cook first thing in the morning and in the evening. Only run ceiling fans in rooms with people in them – fans do not cool the air, they just move it.
Among all our air conditioner efficiency tips, regular HVAC maintenance is the biggest money-saver. By having a skilled air conditioning contractor check your system out at least annually, you can prevent little problems from turning into big, expensive repairs.
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See also: What’s the best air conditioning brand?