Five Tips for Keeping Your Air Conditioner Running Smoothly

Summer is here and FOCUS ON ENERGY® has some tips on what you can do to help keep your air conditioner running smoothly, reduce your monthly bill, and stay cool. Here are five easy DIY tips to keep your air conditioner working at peak performance.

Tip 1: Replace Your Filter

Replacing your filter on a regular basis encourages good airflow and helps keep your system clean by filtering out dust and dirt. Mark your calendar to check your filter monthly to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of your unit. Pro tip: Filters with a higher MERV rating can improve indoor air quality.

Tip 2: Keep the Coils Clean

Dirty coils can result in ice formation, which can make it difficult for the system to absorb and reduce heat and can cause higher energy bills. Your air conditioner has two types of coils:

  • Evaporator coils are located within the indoor portion of the AC unit. They are responsible for removing heat and humidity from the indoor air.
  • Condenser coils are located on the outside portion of the unit. They take inside heat and transfer it outside your home.

If the outdoor coils are dirty, consider spraying them down with a garden hose. Keeping them clean helps the unit run more efficiently. Make sure to use a garden hose and not a pressure washer, which can damage the coils.

Tip 3: Give Your AC Some Space

Proper clearance around your air conditioner gives the unit enough space to circulate air in and out. You should keep hedges, branches, and other landscaping trimmed ensuring the unit can operate efficiently. Putting stress on the system can increase the need for repairs, as well as drive up your cooling costs.

Tip 4: Use Ceiling Fans

Using a ceiling fan can keep you comfortable during the hotter part of the day and allow you to use your air conditioning less. Make sure the blades are set to spin counterclockwise in the summer to push air down and create a cool breeze. This can enable you to use your AC less and help you save 4% to 8% on cooling costs. Remember, ceiling fans only cool people, not rooms–so, to save energy, turn off the fan if no one is in the room.

Tip 5: Adjust Your Thermostat

Turning your thermostat up 7 to 10 degrees while you are away from home can help save you as much as 10% on cooling costs. Be sure to set it to start cooling again 15–30 minutes before you get home, to ensure a comfortable temperature with good humidity control. A qualified smart thermostat from Focus on Energy can help simplify temperature control through remote and automatic adjustments.

If your heating or cooling equipment is unreliable, inefficient, or over 15 years old, it might be time for an upgrade. An air source heat pump provides efficient heating and cooling for all-season comfort and savings. Find a Trade Ally contractor to install your new equipment and help you apply for cost-saving rebates or explore more ways to save with Focus on Energy.

Check out out five tips to staying comfortable year round in your home:

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