Three Ways To Minimize The Cost Of Running Your Air Conditioner

It's nice to walk into a cool home after spending a significant amount of time outside in the sun. However, running your air conditioner constantly can be costly. So, before the summer heat is in full swing, learn what you can do to make your air conditioner more efficient so that you save money.

Change the Filter

Changing your air conditioner's filter -- or cleaning the filter if you have reusable filters -- each month during the cooling season improves the unit's efficiency. This means that it will cost you less money to keep your house cool. In fact, when you replace a dirty filter with a clean one, it can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by five to 15 percent, depending on the type of unit you have and the filters you use.

In order to balance air-quality concerns and energy costs, you need to look at the filter's minimum efficiency reporting value, also known as MERV. Each filter has a number ranging from one to 12. The higher the number is, the better filtration the filter provides. However, improved filtration also means more energy is needed to pull air through the filter. So, if your main concern is conserving energy, look for a filter with a lower number. If you're concerned with both air quality and energy consumption, choose a filter with a MERV around six.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

You might think that you'll save money by turning the air conditioner off while you aren't at home. However, that's not the case. When you completely shut down your air conditioner during the day, the air compressor needs to work extra hard to cool your home later. So, instead of turning your air conditioner off and on every day, invest in a programmable thermostat. This way, you can automatically set the temperature so that it's higher while you're gone and lower when you're home. That way you avoid having to choose between keeping the house too hot or too cool while you're away.

Install Blinds or Window Shades

Install blinds or window shades on your windows, to keep the afternoon sun from shining directly into your home. This eliminates some of the excess heat in your house, which means that your air conditioner unit won't have to work as hard to keep your home cool. Also, consider running your air conditioner in conjunction with floor or ceiling fans to circulate the cool air throughout your home.

If you don't properly prepare your air conditioner unit and your home for hot summer weather, you'll waste a lot of money trying to keep your house cool. By installing blinds or shades, using fans in your home, installing a programmable thermostat, and changing the air conditioner's filter, your cooling expenses will remain manageable throughout the season. For more information, one company you might consider contacting is A One Heating & Air Conditioning.