Energy-Saving Tips For Your Central Air Conditioner

May 16, 2024


Did you know that heating and cooling your home accounts for nearly half of your energy bills, with central air conditioners being a major contributor during the hot summer months?

As the temperature rises, so does the temptation to crank up the AC, but that can lead to some serious sticker shock when you get your energy bill. But fear not! With a few simple tricks up your sleeve, you can keep your home chill and your wallet happy.

Let’s explore some easy ways to beat the heat while keeping your energy bills in check.

How Central Air Conditioners Work

When you adjust the thermostat to your desired temperature, the indoor unit’s fan begins to circulate air over the evaporator coil. This coil contains refrigerant, which absorbs heat from the indoor air, cooling it in the process.

The refrigerant then travels to the outdoor unit, where the compressor pressurizes it and the condenser coil releases the heat absorbed from the indoor air. The cooled refrigerant returns to the indoor unit to repeat the process, maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your home.

Energy-Saving Tips For Your Central Air Conditioner

Now that we have a basic understanding of how central air conditioners work, let’s explore some energy-saving tips that will help you maximize efficiency and minimize energy costs.

1. Regular Maintenance Is Key

Just like any other mechanical system, your central air conditioner requires regular maintenance to operate efficiently. Schedule an annual maintenance check-up with a qualified HVAC technician. During this check-up, the technician will inspect and clean the various components of your system, ensuring that everything is in good working order. This not only improves the efficiency of your central air conditioner but also helps to extend its lifespan.

2. Change Your Air Filter Regularly

One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve the efficiency of your central air conditioner is to regularly change the air filter. A dirty air filter restricts airflow, making your system work harder to cool your home.

Check your air filter every month, and if it looks dirty, replace it with a clean one. This simple maintenance task can significantly improve the efficiency of your central air conditioner and help reduce your energy bills.

3. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to save energy and money on your cooling costs. With a programmable thermostat, you can set your central air conditioner to automatically adjust the temperature based on your schedule.

For example, you can program it to turn down the temperature when you’re at home and awake and turn it up when you’re away or asleep. This ensures that you’re only using energy to cool your home when you need it, saving you money on your energy bills.

4. Seal And Insulate Your Home

Properly sealing and insulating your home is essential for maximizing the efficiency of your central air conditioner. Check for air leaks around doors, windows, and ductwork, and seal them with caulk or weatherstripping as needed.

Additionally, make sure that your home is well insulated, especially in the attic and walls. This will help prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering, reducing the workload on your central air conditioner.

5. Use Fans To Supplement Your Central Air Conditioner

Using fans to supplement your central air conditioner can help distribute cool air more effectively throughout your home. Ceiling fans, in particular, can help create a breeze that makes you feel cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting by a few degrees without sacrificing comfort. Just be sure to turn off fans when you leave the room, as they only cool people, not the air itself.

6. Keep Your Outdoor Unit Clean and Clear

The outdoor unit of your central air conditioner needs adequate airflow to operate efficiently. Make sure that it is clear of debris, such as leaves, grass clippings, and branches, and that there are at least two feet of clearance around it on all sides.

Additionally, regularly clean the fins and coils of the outdoor unit to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated. This will help ensure that your central air conditioner can effectively dissipate heat, allowing it to operate more efficiently.

7. Use Shades And Curtains To Block Sunlight

Direct sunlight can significantly increase the temperature inside your home, causing your central air conditioner to work harder to keep it cool. Use shades, curtains, or blinds to block out sunlight during the hottest parts of the day, especially on windows that receive direct sunlight.

This will help reduce the amount of heat that enters your home, allowing your central air conditioner to operate more efficiently.

8. Cook And Shower During The Cooler Parts Of The Day

Appliances like ovens, stoves, and dishwashers generate a significant amount of heat, which can cause your central air conditioner to work harder to cool your home. Whenever possible, try to cook and run these appliances during the cooler parts of the day, such as the morning or evening.

Similarly, taking shorter, cooler showers can help reduce the amount of heat and humidity in your home, easing the workload on your central air conditioner.

9. Consider Upgrading To A More Energy-Efficient Model

If your central air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it may be worth considering upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. Newer central air conditioners are significantly more energy-efficient than older models, which can translate to lower energy bills and reduced environmental impact.

Look for models with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, which indicates greater energy efficiency.

About Pro West Heating & Cooling

Pro West Heating & Cooling is a leading HVAC company serving homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area. Our team of skilled technicians is committed to providing exceptional service and quality workmanship to ensure your home stays comfortable year-round.

For all your heating and cooling needs, contact us today.