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Air Conditioner Energy Tips

May 12, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

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Read product information on the yellow sticker regarding efficiency rating (particularly the government’s SEER and EER ratings) and consider the following air conditioner energy tips to limit air conditioning costs.

Choose size carefully. Use industry guidelines based on room size (and other factors) to ensure your unit is not too large or too small.  An oversized air conditioner can cause rooms to feel chilly, increase mold and mildew growth, and cost more. A small unit can turn on and off frequently, overworking the motor to try to cool a larger space inevitably resulting in burn out.

Get air ducts tested and cleaned prior to air conditioner installation as well as every spring.

Use appropriate refrigerant levels. Some researchers claim that as many as 75% of installed air conditioning devices have incorrect refrigerant levels. According to Energy Star, this error can reduce air conditioning efficiency 5 to 20% and increase energy costs.

Limit or schedule use of high-energy, heat-generating appliances for cooler parts of the day. Dryers and dishwashers can heat a house and consume electricity to run. To limit air conditioning workload and energy consumption consider air drying washed dishes and clothes.

Use techniques to limit sunlight and heat penetration in the home. Shade and heat reflection can substantially reduce air conditioning energy consumption. Use light colored exterior paints or reflective sealants to reflect heat away from doors, windows, the attic and the roof. Add shade around windows and doors with plants, blinds, awnings, and other devices.

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