On a hot summer day, nothing beats the feeling of stepping into a cool, air-conditioned space. While air-conditioning definitely makes your home more comfortable, that comfort comes at a price – both from a financial perspective and an environmental perspective.
Air-conditioning your home when it is hot outside can lead to much higher energy bills. It also can increase your home’s carbon footprint.
That doesn’t mean that you have to stop using your air conditioner. Instead, all that you need to do is make sure that it is running as efficiently as possible. Higher efficiency results in less energy usage, which translates into less environmental impact and lower monthly bills. gives you four simple tricks that you can use to improve the efficiency of your cooling system:
- Replace or clean the air filter in your air-conditioning unit on a regular basis.
Air conditioners are equipped with filters that are designed to trap dust and airborne contaminants. Over time, these filters can become quite dirty. If too much dust or debris builds up in the filter, it can impede the airflow through your system, forcing your air conditioner to work much harder to produce the same amount of cooling power.
The good news is, this is a simple problem to fix. All that you need to do is check your filter at least once a month to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced. The user manual for your air-conditioning system should provide instructions on how to do this.
- Make sure your vents are free from obstructions.
The cool air from your air-conditioning system is delivered throughout your home using a ventilation system. Check all of the vents in your home to make sure that they are free from obstructions. Avoid placing pieces of furniture directly in front of or over the top of air vents.
- Avoid mounting your thermostat in an area that gets direct sunlight
If the sun is beating down on your thermostat, it will obviously be hotter in that area than it is in the rest of your house. This can cause your air conditioner to run a lot more often than it needs to. Ideally, your thermostat should be mounted on an interior wall in an area that doesn’t get direct sunlight during the day.
- Block out the sun.
One simple way to make it easier for your air conditioner to cool your home is by using curtains or shades to block out the sun. This helps reduce solar heat gain, keeping your home from getting as hot on summer days. As a result, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep the space cool, dramatically lowering the amount of energy that it requires.
These four simple strategies can help improve the efficiency of your cooling system. The best part is, most of them are free. Even if you have to buy new filters for your system, the cost is usually negligible when compared to the amount of money that you can save.