How to Use your Air Conditioner Efficiently

Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to start thinking about air conditioning. Every year, without fail, as soon as the mercury climbs into the 20s and 30s, people rush to the stores to buy fans and air conditioners to make their homes comfortable. If you’re lucky enough to already own an air conditioner, you can just fire it up.

But wait! What if it’s not working properly? And how do you use it efficiently so as to not rack up enormous energy bills? In this article we’ll tell you how to get the most out of your air conditioner.

Inspect your Air Conditioner

After months of sitting dormant, you’ll need to check to make sure that your air conditioner is working properly. Here are some things to look for:

  1. Check to see if there is cold air coming out and use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the air coming out.
  1. Clean your air conditioning unit. At the very least, clean the air filter; it can make a huge difference! If you’re the handy do-it-yourself type, you can clean the coils and fan. Here’s an article with instructions on how to do a thorough cleaning on a central air conditioning unit.

Here’s a video on how to clean a portable unit.

  1. Close all the windows and doors and run the air conditioner. If it doesn’t reach the desired temperature in a reasonable amount of time, give us a call and we can service your unit and help you get comfortable this summer.

Close the Vents in the Basement

Since colder air will sink into the basement anyway, closing the vents in the lower parts of your home, like the basement, will force the air conditioned air into the upper parts of your home. If you have a portable unit, the best place to put it is on the upper floor.

Optimal Temperature for your AC Unit

Some like it hot, some like it cold. The perfect temperature for your home is ultimately up to you, but most people are comfortable at temperatures between 23 and 25 degrees. Find out what temperature you’re most comfortable at by starting at 23 degrees and slowly increasing the temperature until you find your sweet spot.

Use Fans to Help Circulate the Cool Air

Contrary to what you might think, using fans together with an air conditioner won’t increase your energy consumption, they will actually reduce it! Fans circulate the cool air inside, rather than bringing in hot air from outside. Read about the science behind using air conditioners with fans along with recommended fan sizes depending on the size of your room. 

Click here for even more energy saving tips for your home.

Close your Windows and Draw the Curtains

Even if there is a bit of a breeze, chances are that the air outside is hotter than the air inside if you have your air conditioner running. You don’t want that hot air coming in, so make your home like a thermos and close all the windows and doors. Closing your curtains will keep out sunlight, which can also heat up your home.

Adjust the AC Thermostat when you Sleep

Just like lowering the temperature when you’re sleeping during the winter will save on energy, raising the temperature when you’re sleeping during the summer saves energy too. You might be able to set it as high as 26 degrees, but if you find that uncomfortable, try 25 degrees.

Adjust the AC Thermostat when you Leave

There’s no sense in leaving your air conditioner going full blast when you’re not home. Sure it can be brutal waiting for the house to return to a nice temperature, but a few minutes of discomfort probably aren’t worth the cost of leaving the AC running all day while you’re at work, running errands, or doing whatever you do when you’re not home.

Want to know more about air conditioners? Read our article about How Air Conditioners Work.

Following these tips can save you money and you’ll feel better knowing that you’re getting the most out of your air conditioner in the hot summer months. If you ever run into problems, Canuck Plumbing offers expert air conditioning services for your air conditioner, ventilation systems, sump pumps, plumbing, and more.

Help keep your friends and neighbours cool this summer by sharing this article with them on Facebook or Twitter.

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