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Tips to Improve Your Central Air Conditioner's Energy Efficiency

The average household in the United States spends around $2,200 each year on energy costs. Nearly 50 percent of that money is spent heating or cooling their home. If you cannot afford to upgrade your central air conditioner to a newer model, you can still make your existing unit more energy efficient.
This article will offer a few simple tips to help you improve your air conditioner's energy efficiency.
Keep Your Central Air Conditioner Clean
The simplest, more cost-effective way to spend less on your cooling costs is to keep your central air conditioner clean. Here are a few steps you can do to safely clean your central air conditioner:
  • Replace the air filter. Locate the air filter, which is typically found near the furnace, and replace it or clean it. If the air filter can be cleaned, follow the manufacturer's directions.
  • Clean the condenser. Wipe down the outside of the condenser, which is the large metal box found outside your home, with a damp cloth. Carefully remove the screws from the top of the condenser, set the fan to the side, and clean out the inner walls of your condenser with the hose attachment of a vacuum.
  • Clear away any debris around the condenser. Clear away any obstructions from around the condenser, including any bushes, branches, or debris. This will allow the condenser to pull in air more easily, which will improve its efficiency.
If you notice any damage to your central air conditioner, or it isn't working properly, contact a professional HVAC technician to have it serviced.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can dramatically lower your energy costs while increasing the energy efficiency of your HVAC unit.
Between works, kids, carpools, and soccer practices, you will not be home for several hours during the day and evening. Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to effortlessly keep the temperatures higher when you are away from home and cooler when you're home to enjoy your central air conditioner.
Some programmable thermostats allow you to control the temperature of your home from your smartphone, making efficiency easier than ever.
Utilize Your Home's Ceiling Fans
Your ceiling fans provide some much-needed cool air to the room they are in. However, did you know that a single ceiling fan on your ground floor can help you save money on your air conditioning bills? You can switch your ceiling fan's rotation direction so it rotates counterclockwise, which helps push cool air down and recirculate it through the first floor of your home.
You can keep your ceiling fan running during the daytime hours so you can turn up the temperature in your home and save some money.
Use Your Appliances Wisely
Several appliances in your home generate heat, including your dryer, oven, and dishwasher. When you use these appliances during the daytime, especially the afternoon, your home's temperature grows hotter. Higher temperatures cause your air conditioner to kick on more than is necessary. Keep your home cooler by saving your household chores for the early morning or after the sun goes down.
Purchase a Dehumidifier
If the humidity in your home is too high, the moisture can make you very uncomfortable. The ideal relative humidity in your home should be between 40 percent and 50 percent.
A hygrometer at your local hardware or home improvement store will show you the humidity levels in your home. If your home's humidity is over 50 percent, you should purchase a dehumidifier that will keep you more comfortable without overusing your central air conditioner.
You can take several simple steps to improve your central air conditioner's energy efficiency. If you have any additional questions, contact Covington Air Systems, Inc.