Air Conditioning: Optimization Tips

checking-acWhen one looks at their electricity bill each month, one can’t help but wonder where all that power is going. “Did I really use all that electricity?”, is a common question asked? Well, yes, you did. But not in the way you would expect. No, it wasn’t necessarily due to leaving lights and appliances on (though if you did do that frequently, it didn’t help). It also wasn’t due to that new TV or charging all of your devices. Actually, the majority of your electricity went to a singular source: your air conditioner.

That’s right, the a/c. It’s not hard to imagine why. It does run for more hours than most any other appliance. It also works harder depending on what the climate is like where you live. In fact, heating and cooling (usually done by that same device) make up about 50% of the average monthly electricity bill. So you can see that this device is drinking up a lot of juice.

save-your-cooling systemsBut before you go off and decide that all you need to do is use the a/c less, or turn up the temperature, consider that while that can help, it’s going to leave you in a literal uncomfortable position. While it’s true that raising the temperature even just 2 degrees can make a difference on your overall bill, realize that the problem isn’t necessarily the temperature setting you’ve chosen.

The problem is actually one of inefficiency. But more on that later. Right now, let’s look at some simple things that you can do right now to make your a/c run a little easier, and save a little cash.

First, make sure the filter is kept clean. A dirty filter not only lowers the quality of the air in your home, but it makes it harder for the a/c to keep air circulating. The more your a/c (or any appliance for that matter) has to work, the more electricity it will use. So keep that filter cleaned regularly.

Next, ensure that there are no obstructions blocking the air flow from the vents. Again, the easier air can flow, the less electricity your a/c will need to use. Conversely, you can also close the vents going to rooms that you do not need to be cooled/heated. This means that the rest of the home will reach the desired temperature faster. Just be sure to close the doors to such rooms and ensure that the thermostat isn’t in any of those rooms as the unit will then never turn off.

thersmostatSetting the temperature a couple of degrees up (or down in the winter) will help. Winter is easy as you can always put another layer on if it’s a little too cold indoors. Alternatively, a small space heater should be used if you only need a room or two kept warm (but no more than a single room or two or you’ll end up using more energy than the a/c itself). In the summer, a small fan can make you feel cooler and supplant the small temperature difference.

Now, getting a little more industrious, there is the matter of the programmable thermostat. You can set this device to automatically turn on and off your a/c at certain times of the day. You can also specify the temperature. That means that during the summer, you can set it to gradually turn up the temperature at night once it’s not so hot outside to save energy. Many programmable thermostats come with a power-saving setting that will do this for you.

Finally, if all the above isn’t enough, there is more on how to save on electricity bill costs by using an electric saver device. This will correct the inefficiency talked about earlier. You see, you a/c draws more power than it actually needs. The “additional” electricity goes to waste as it just sits in your home’s wiring with nowhere to go. The electric saver will collect this energy and send it back to your appliances for actual use. This one method can actually (all on its own) save you 10% to 20% on your monthly power bill. So it’s really effective.

So that coupled with all of the other tips and tricks found above can really save you big on your electricity bill. All just by optimizing your air conditioner. These tips aren’t that hard or expensive to implement so you would be wise to get all of them into action.