photo of a woman adjusting the thermostat

AC Unit Energy Saving Tips for Warmer Months

photo of a woman adjusting the thermostat

How do you cope with our Hawaiian summer heat? It may be tempting to blast your AC as strong as possible on hot days. As compelling as it is, pushing your AC isn’t a good idea for two important reasons. First, cranking up your AC strains your air conditioning unit. And second, your energy usage and electricity bills will skyrocket!

Efficiently cooling your home is key to enjoying a comfortable summer. Optimizing energy consumption allows you to maximize the cooling effects of your AC unit while keeping costs down. Our team of HVAC experts is here to help you do just that!

Here are some of our best energy-saving tips for saving money while using your AC during the summer months:

Routine AC Maintenance Tips

Regular AC maintenance is a common-sense way to keep your AC running efficiently all year round. Ensuring all the components are correctly working can prevent major mechanical failures and boost overall performance. Here are some simple tasks you can perform for your home AC unit:

Replace Air Filters

The most basic air conditioner maintenance a homeowner can perform is replacing old air filters. HVAC technicians suggest that you change your air filters at least every 90 days. Air filters keep dust and debris from reaching the ducts and the unit itself, protecting your AC system from damage.

What happens when air filters are left unchanged? Foreign particles can reduce efficiency and cause your unit to work harder when cooling your home. Dirty vents make it more difficult for air to circulate freely throughout the living space. Particles inside the unit can potentially cause damage, leading to more significant problems if neglected for too long.

Schedule AC Maintenance Service

Scheduling routine AC maintenance appointments is another primary step that can keep your unit running efficiently for a long time to come. The best time to schedule a routine check is early in the warm season, or even before the weather heats up. As the summer days go by, HVAC technicians are busier and it’s more difficult to obtain speedy service.

tips for saving energy while using ac infographic

Many homeowners don’t need to use their AC during the cooler seasons, resulting in a dormant system for months. It’s still possible to develop AC issues even when your system isn’t in use. Unfortunately, there’s no way to recognize a problem until it’s time to turn on the air conditioning again.

An HVAC technician inspects your unit to ensure all parts function correctly early in the warmer months. Cleaning ductwork and checking the thermostat are routine checks a technician will perform. While it may feel unnecessary, you’ll thank yourself later when you enjoy a comfortable summer with no AC breakdowns.

AC Energy Saving Tips

Not all energy-saving tips require AC maintenance. You can use several tricks around the house to keep energy costs down. Here are some of the most effective ways to ensure your AC runs all summer efficiently.

Home Insulation

You can have the most outstanding AC system available, but it won’t perform well if your home isn’t adequately insulated. In simple terms, insulation keeps the right air in and the wrong air out. In the summer, this means keeping your AC’s cool air inside while the sun’s heat stays outside where it belongs.

If you notice any drafty areas at home, contact an insulation specialist before air leaks become a significant problem. Windows and attics are two common problem areas when it comes to insulation.

Thermostat Management

Your thermostat dictates what temperature the AC system strives to reach. When you set a temperature, your AC will work until the air inside reaches that mark.

To save energy, first keep the thermostat set to a reasonable temperature. Find the highest temperature you can set while still comfortable, and leave it there. It’s vital to avoid overburdening your unit to produce excessively cool air.

Also, keep warm appliances away from your thermostat, as this can cause it to misread the temperature inside. Lamps are the main culprit here, but anything that could produce heat close to your thermostat should be relocated.

A programmable thermostat can be great if you want to maximize efficiency. Programmable thermostats allow you to set a schedule for your thermostat rather than adjust it throughout the day. This capability makes it easy to power down the AC when nobody’s home or at night when it’s less needed. A programmable thermostat keeps you cool when you need it and saves energy when you don’t.

Cover Your Outdoor Unit

Every air conditioning system consists of an outdoor unit and indoor components. If your outdoor unit is exposed to the hot sun on summer days, it won’t work as efficiently. An uncovered unit can also be damaged by dirt and debris, particularly during storms.

Protecting your outdoor condenser unit from the elements is a simple way to passively save energy during the warmer months. A simple awning above the unit can be all you need in many cases.

Plan Household Chores Accordingly

Certain household chores produce moisture and heat, disrupting your AC’s temperature gauge. Running the dishwasher, doing laundry, or even mopping the floor can produce steam and heat. It’s best to do these tasks early in the morning or evening when the outside temperature is lower. Doing these tasks midday, when temperatures are the highest, can add a bit of extra strain to your system. 

Use Ceiling Fans

Homeowners may choose to leave ceiling fans off to conserve energy. Running a ceiling fan indeed requires a small amount of electricity. It’s more energy-efficient to operate ceiling fans on low in conjunction with an air conditioner. Ceiling fans help circulate air throughout your house, and air circulation is the key to home heating and cooling systems.

Ceiling fans work with your AC to keep the air flowing consistently and evenly throughout the house. It’s estimated that running ceiling fans can allow homeowners to set their thermostat temperature up to four degrees lower. That extra four degrees leads to more energy savings than you would get if you left your fans off.

Cover Your Windows

Most of us love the feeling of natural light coming through our windows. While the sun hitting your windows can heat your home, you don’t need to draw every curtain in the house. During peak hours, it can pay to cover specific windows that are the most exposed to sunlight.

Allowing too much sunlight into your home will raise the indoor temperature, causing your AC to work harder. Keeping your curtains or shades drawn for a few hours each afternoon can lead to significant energy savings in summer.

Hawaii's Best AC Maintenance and Repair

Summers in Hawaii can be dreamlike, and nothing can disrupt that dream faster than a hot day with a broken AC. Routine AC service can prevent major technical issues, but sometimes malfunctions happen.

Whether you need a complete AC repair, routine maintenance, or new AC installation, Island Comfort Air Conditioning can help you. Island Comfort serves Oahu and Kauai with the mission of bringing the comfort and luxury of Hawaii to your home.

To schedule your AC service with Island Comfort, contact us today! Our professional staff will work to give you the best home cooling experience you can get.

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