How to Improve Your Air Conditioner’s Energy Efficiency

April 13, 2021

In honor of Earth Day (April 20-22), let’s talk air conditioner (A/C) energy efficiency. We believe in a balance of comfort and energy efficiency, so these tips are designed to achieve both. Some you can practice daily, and others are for future consideration.

As a side note, if you want a quick and easy way to determine how energy efficient your home is compared to others, try the Home Energy Rating System (or HERS) index. It’s the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. 

Daily Tips

Oven alternatives: Use a microwave, toaster, or counter-top grill rather than an oven to cut down on A/C (i.e., energy) use as excess heat can increase room temperature.

Thermostat distance: Placing lamps or TVs near your thermostat can cause the air to run longer than necessary due to the sense of heat around the appliances. Place the two far apart to save energy!

Filter maintenance: The best way you can support the efficient functioning of your A/C is by regularly checking and changing the air filter. Regular maintenance of the filter keeps your system running efficiently, safely and cleanly.

Future Tips

A/C installation: If you need to install a new HVAC unit, purchase an energy efficient unit. Look for one with a high SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) condenser – it’s better for the environment as it uses less energy. We recommend a communicating unit, which you can learn about in our A/C guide.

ECM upgrade: Upgrade your indoor fan motor to be an ECM. What is an ECM is and where is it located? ECM stands for electronically commutated motor and it’s located inside your furnace or air handler. All new manufactured equipment comes with ECM Motors, so give us a call if you're ready to replace that old inefficient equipment. In 2019, the US Department of Energy implemented a big change to FER Standards (Fan Efficiency Rating Standards), requiring indoor fan motors to be ECMs. Higher efficiency fan motors boost the efficiency of your home’s AC unit (and save you money on your heating and cooling bills). This is a win across the board: for your pocket, comfort and the environment. The transition is expected to reduce our carbon footprint by up to 34 million metric tons!

System maintenance: Schedule a maintenance appointment for your A/C. A clean system means efficiency. Dirt on the coils, blower wheel and in your filter causes the efficiency of your system to drop. While this may be negligible on a month-to-month basis, over the course of a few years it can zap more energy than needed.

For more A/C tips, check out these blogs: 4 Common A/C Questions, 10 Tasks to Get Your Home Summer-Ready, Don’t Be Afraid of Your A/C: 3 Things You Should Know and A/C Installation: 3 Crucial Cool Down Considerations.


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