Tips for Lowering Your Room Air Conditioner's Energy Usage
- While fans cannot replace air conditioners, they can provide supplemental cooling, especially on mild summer days. Substituting fans for air conditioners can reduce energy use by 60% or more.
- Consider installing a programmable thermostat if you do not have one. You can save as much as 10% on your cooling bill by simply turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours. You can do this easily using a programmable or a setback thermostat.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Don't set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
- Room air conditioners must be installed on a flat, even surface so that the inside drainage system and other mechanisms operate efficiently.
- Set the fan speed on high, except on very humid days. When humidity is high, set the fan speed on low for more comfort. The low speed on humid days will make for a more comfortable home by removing more moisture from the air.
- Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing electricity use.
- Don't place lamps or televisions near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- It is important to install the unit in a shaded spot on the home's north or east side because direct sunshine on the unit's outdoor heat exchanger decreases efficiency.
- Plant trees and shrubs to shade air-conditioning units but do not block the air flow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
- Room air conditioners should be covered or removed and stored in winter.
- Check your unit's air filter once a month and clean or replace filters as necessary. Keeping the filter clean can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
- Clogged drain channels prevent a unit from reducing humidity, and the resulting excess moisture may discolor walls or carpet. Channels usually can be cleared by passing a stiff wire through them.
- Holes in the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame allow cool air to escape from your home. Moisture can damage this seal, so inspect the seal annually to ensure it makes contact with the unit's metal case.
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