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Cardinal Heating & Cooling
Programmable Thermostat

An air conditioner is a good investment for many households. Not only can it increase home value, it also increases the comfort & joy that you and your family find in your home.

With that in mind, it also can increase the amount of energy a home uses - especially with how warm it gets in the Midwest. At Cardinal, we want you to feel comfortable using your AC.

While there are certainly some quick fixes you can use to lower your energy bill, follow these 12 tips to increase your air conditioner's efficiency over the long term.

Check & clean out your filters regularly
A dirty filter can make an AC unit work harder, causing a larger drain on electricity. Depending on where you live and where your unit is placed, an air filter can last between 30 to 90 days.

If you have pets in your home, live around a lot of trees, bushes or in an area with elevated pollen, you’re going to have to replace your air conditioner filters more frequently. This goes for window and central air units.

Best practice would be to check on your filters once a month. They may not have to be changed that frequently, but when it comes to your electric bill, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Install your air conditioner in the shade
This is a variable that should be taken into account before the installation of an AC unit. An air conditioner pulls in the air surrounding it to cool down and pump into your home. The cooler the surrounding air, the less energy will have to be consumed.

If your air conditioner is already installed, consider using an umbrella to shade your unit.

Use a programmable thermostat
Regulating the temperature throughout the day can reduce energy costs as well.

Don’t cool your home if no one is going to be home to enjoy the AC anyways.

Instead, program your thermostat to kick in 20 minutes before you get home.

That way, you’ll still return to a cool home but won’t waste the energy throughout the entire day.

Thermostat placement is important
Where your thermostat is installed will also determine how much energy an air conditioner has to use. If you install a thermostat near an appliance that produces heat like televisions, modems, or lamps, it will trigger your air conditioner to run more often than necessary.

Installing a thermostat in a neutral location like a hallway wall will ensure a consistent temperature throughout your home.

Block sunlight from entering your home
Use shades and drapes to keep the sun from heating up your home. Especially while you’re away, don’t let heat enter your home that you’re going to end up removing.  Natural light is wonderful, but it can also raise a home by 10+ degrees in no time.

In addition to keeping the sun out, keep your home cooler by doing the chores that require heat early or late in the day. Using the oven or running a dryer can add to the heat inside of a home.

Airflow to your AC Unit
Make sure no debris, plants, insects or even tiny animals are in or around your air conditioner. These all block airflow which will make your unit have to work harder and use more energy. Check on your AC from time to time to make sure that there isn’t anything blocking vents or entrances.

Window tinting and films

If you living in a particularly warm or cool climate, consider window tint or film on the inside of windows. It does wonders for keeping the cool air inside during summer months, and warm air inside during winter.

Coil and exterior maintenance
A dirty condenser coil can make an AC unit run warmer and with less efficiency. That’s why it’s important to check occasionally, and clean condenser coils when needed.

If you do have a condenser that’s dirty and runs too hot, you may need service on your air conditioner. Contact the professionals at Cardinal for an honest opinion.

Keep indoor vents clean
When vacuuming in your home, don’t forget about the vents. Ensuring they’re clear of dust and debris will ensure smooth and steady airflow throughout your home.

Also keep in mind that toys and furniture can impede airflow as well.

Insulate exposed duct work
Having a professional check your duct work is best practice, but homeowners can also seal up ductwork leaks. Having a hole in your ducts will allow cold, conditioned air to escape before making it’s way to the room you want to cool down.

Consider an Energy Star Model
Having a properly sized and Energy Star rated air conditioner can save you hundreds on your electric bill. See here for steps on how to choose the correct AC unit for your home.

Have a professional checkover your unit
When in doubt, have a professional come out to inspect your AC unit. If something is working improperly or your unit is buggy, it can cost hundreds more than a fast inspection by the professionals at Cardinal Heating & Cooling.

Call or eMail us today. At Cardinal, we care about your air.

Long Term Air Conditioner Tricks to Increase Efficiency