There are many suggestions that have been provided for improving energy consumption from AC units, among them turning it off for short periods of time. If you live in areas with temperate climates, however, turning off your air conditioner (AC) may not be a viable option. What's more, switching your AC on and off will make temperature regulation more difficult, so that the unit works harder each time and hence degrades faster. Below are a few doable tips for reducing your AC bill if you live in temperate climates:
1. Get an energy-efficient model
If you want to make some savings on your AC, you should start with installing an energy-efficient AC model as soon as you can afford it. This survey has shown that AC consumption accounts for about 24 percent of your total energy bill, which is why unit efficiency is the most important factor for making energy savings. There are many purchase options for air conditioners, and this guide can help you decipher different labels on AC units so that you buy the most efficient unit for your budget.
2. Get a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats are the alternative to manual AC regulation. Depending on the model and your AC system, you can set different temperatures with timers for different zones of the house. This way, when you go to sleep at night, temperatures in the living room don't have to be kept so low, and during family time when everybody is in the living room, the bedroom temperatures can be higher. Programmable thermostats allow you to program these settings to run automatically according to your schedules and habits e.g. turning the system on an hour before you come back home to ensure you find cool air without running bills by leaving the system on all day. Some more advanced models even allow you to program using your smartphone.
3. Change the temperature
Did you know that changing the thermostat by a single degree would not make a big impact on your comfort, but could reduce your AC energy consumption significantly? Increase the temperature by one or two degrees, especially for rooms that are not frequently occupied.
4. Change filters regularly
Air filters ensure you get clean air by blocking debris and particles from outside air. In time, therefore, they get clogged by these particles, which reduces the amount of air coming into your house. This in turn decreases the rate at which a room can be cooled to specific temperatures, stressing your AC unit. Follow your manufacturer's recommendations about changing or cleaning filters.
5. Close your blinds
In cooler climates, the sun is a welcome entrant within the house. For you in warmer climates, however, it becomes an intruder that works against your AC. This is especially true if you have windows and doors facing south and/or west, since they receive plenty of scorching afternoon sun. There's little you can do about where the windows are unless you're building, but you can install opaque, reflective blinds to keep as much of the sun out. Don't place your thermostat near directly-lit areas of the room, since the temperature there will be higher and hence cause your AC to run longer than it needs to. Aside from blinds, window films and solar screens can keep out much of the sun's energy out, while allowing light to flow in.