Are you searching for ways to save money on your air conditioning while still maintaining the comfort of your home? Central air conditioning is often the biggest source of electricity consumption in a home, but you can take steps to at least reduce how much energy your AC uses. The following will help to make your AC more efficient and potentially result in quite significant savings without negatively affecting your comfort level.

Get Your AC Professionally Serviced

Professional maintenance is essential for an air conditioning system to cool as efficiently as possible. An AC system that isn’t professionally serviced and inspected annually will never work as well as it could. If your AC isn’t operating effectively, it will end up using far more energy. It will take longer for it to cool your home, and it will work harder to achieve desired temperatures, increasing the risk of breakdowns. Neglecting to have your AC serviced every spring could even shorten its lifespan.

Most homeowners simply are not qualified to complete the majority of necessary maintenance tasks safely or effectively. For example, you could also easily damage the system and cause a refrigerant leak if you tried to clean the condenser coil and evaporator coil on your own. Even though these coils must be clean to ensure the AC system can effectively remove heat from your home and release it outside, DIY cleaning could result in insufficient airflow, slow or inefficient cooling, or a frozen AC unit.

Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

Studies have shown that a smart thermostat can reduce cooling costs between 8% and 15% on average compared to a traditional manual or programmable thermostat. That said, some smart thermostats are more intuitive and perform much better than others. This is why experts recommend opting for a unit that is ENERGY STAR certified. Only ENERGY STAR smart thermostats have been independently proven to provide real energy savings in any climate.

To achieve an ENERGY STAR certification, a smart thermostat also has to have additional features such as low-power standby mode and energy monitoring. Energy monitoring is especially useful since it makes it easy for you to see how your thermostat settings are affecting the amount of energy your AC is using. Some units will also provide you with feedback on the minor adjustments you can make to your thermostat settings to improve the efficiency of your AC.

Many units also have learning capabilities that essentially allow them to automatically adjust the temperature settings based on your behavior patterns to further reduce energy usage. This results in the thermostat automatically turning the temperature up at the time you normally leave for work and go to bed.

Replace Your Old, Inefficient AC

With proper maintenance, a central AC system will typically last for somewhere around 15 years on average. Even if your system still has a few years of life left, upgrading to a new system can pay off and save you quite a bit of money in the long run. There is a fairly decent chance that the efficiency rating of your current system is only 13 SEER. That’s because 13 SEER was the minimum required under federal law for all AC systems in New York from 2006 until the start of 2023. Since then, all new systems installed in the Northern US must have an efficiency rating of at least 14 SEER (13.4 SEER2).

If you were to replace an old 13 SEER system with a new 14 SEER AC, your energy costs could decrease by at least 7%. The efficiency of an AC system tends to decrease slowly over time, so even with proper maintenance, you could be facing steeper energy costs with your aging unit. If you were to instead opt for an 18 SEER (approximately 17 SEER2) system, it could end up lowering your annual cooling costs by at least 35 to 37%.

The most efficient central AC systems currently available are around 28 SEER or 26.7 SEER2. Installing a system like this could cut your cooling costs by more than half and might end up saving you a few hundred dollars a year and at least a few thousand over the life of the new system. Even if you opted to install a new system that was only a few ratings higher than what you currently have, it can still end up essentially paying for itself by the time you need to replace it.

Replace Your AC’s Air Filter Regularly

One maintenance task that you can do on your own is replacing the air filter in your AC system, and this is something that should be done at least quarterly. That said, you might need to replace the filter more frequently. Households with indoor pets will almost always need more frequent filter replacements since pet hair and dander can quickly clog the filter. The filter will also get dirty and clog more quickly during the hottest parts of the year when the AC runs for much longer each day.

Replacing the AC air filter is essential for ensuring that the system always has sufficient airflow. As a filter gets dirty, it restricts the amount of air that can be drawn through it. When the airflow is restricted, an AC system will always cool less effectively simply because there is less warm air flowing into it and over the evaporator coil. Insufficient airflow commonly causes this coil to freeze up.

Control the Humidity Level in Your Home

Due to the coastal climate, the summers in Long Island tend to be fairly humid. This can be an issue for your AC since humid indoor conditions will always lead to it not performing as effectively or efficiently as it could. As such, it’s a good idea to take steps to make your home less humid if it often feels muggy just to help your AC perform better. Keeping your windows closed at night can make a big difference since open windows allow moist air inside.

That said, the best solution for overcoming systemic issues with high indoor humidity is to install a whole-home dehumidifier. This type of unit will draw most of the moisture out of the air flowing through your AC system before it reaches the air handler where the evaporator coil is located. Removing excess moisture can greatly improve the performance of your AC and lower your overall electricity usage.

Cool Power LLC is the most trusted source for cooling and heating in Ronkonkoma and throughout Long Island. Our technicians are ready to help service or repair your AC system to ensure it works efficiently and can effectively keep your home cool. If you need to replace your AC or heating, we can also help you choose an efficient system that fits your budget and will most effectively meet your needs. Contact us today to schedule routine AC maintenance or any other HVAC service.

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