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7 Smart ways to increase air conditioner efficiency

Last updated on February 20, 2022

The summer months and accompanying heat and humidity can sometimes be too great of an inconvenience for you and your family, making you think about air conditioner efficiency.

However, technology-based components like air conditioners often malfunction or fail to operate when you need them the most.

To avoid such untimely inconveniences, you should embrace smart methods that increase efficiency and improve the operation of the air conditioning system.

Faulty air conditioners lead to an increased operation which results in higher electricity consumption and eventually higher energy bills.

Moreover, the prolonged faulty operation will harm the environment and make your surroundings very uncomfortable, which defeats the main purpose of installing an air conditioner.

To that effect, this article highlights 7 smart ways and methods that increase the efficiency of your air conditioning, help you save money, and make your surroundings more comfortable. 

What Is Air Conditioning

Often abbreviated as AC, air conditioning creates a more conducive interior space by controlling prevailing heat and humidity.

This can be achieved in several ways; through powered air conditioners, passive cooling, and ventilation aeration.

Below are a few smart measures to increase the efficiency of air conditioning:

1. Clean the Air Conditioner Condenser Unit

Keeping the condenser unit clean is the smartest way to increase the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.

This includes maintaining the cleanliness of the condenser coil, condenser fan, and compressor. Use the following steps to properly clean your condenser unit.

Steps to Clean Air Conditioner Condenser Unit

  1. From the outdoor deactivation panel, turn off the power supply
  2. Using a vacuum cleaner, clean the fins by removing excess grass, dirt, grime or leaves
  3. Straighten the condenser fins
  4. Open the air conditioner and carefully remove the interior fan
  5. Remove dirt, leaves, or insects from inside the system using a moist paper or a towel.
  6. Remove all stuck debris from the fan blades using a water hose
  7. Assemble the fan and overall compressor

Note that the condenser unit is a critical part of the air conditioner and needs to be handled with care to avoid any damage to the system.

2. Open And Clean Your Vents

Another smart way to enhance air conditioning efficiency is through regular inspection and maintenance of the vents on the ceiling, walls, and floors.

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Regularly inspect the different vent openings, making sure they are clear from debris. To ensure consistent and thorough cleaning:

  • Keep records on how frequently you vacuum the vents
  • Evaluate the size of the air filler needed, if any, for each vent
  • Examine if the vents appear dirty, or suffer from the presence of dust, pet hair, or other debris
  • Maintain a professional vent cleaning habit

Unfortunately, sometimes you may clean the vents and still notice you are not achieving very high efficiency in your air conditioning system.

If that is the case, check whether the vent vicinity is clear.

That might require a space re-visit, to try different furniture orientations within the room, as some furniture might be blocking or restricting the airflow, and therefore hindering the proper functioning of the system.

3. Replace the Filter on a Routine Basis

Old filters clogged with dirt and dust can be major causes of an ineffective air conditioning system in your home.

Over time, the filters get covered and fill up with foreign materials such as debris and dust. They start to hinder the activities of central AC in ensuring the maximum circulation of cold and clean air.

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Additionally, dirty filters cause the system to operate at a higher capacity, increasing the energy consumption and putting too much strain on the condenser and fan units.

It is advisable to regularly check the filter and replace it when needed, typically once every two months.

Although this method can be costly as it necessitates a filter purchase frequently, it guarantees constant power consumption of the air conditioner, therefore reducing electricity bills.

Additionally, this measure ensures a longer lifespan and consistent operation of the unit. This, in turn, saves on the costly unit replacement if it gets damaged. 

4. Eliminate All Types of Air Leaks in Your House

Houses, especially in older buildings, could suffer from several structural and functional air leaks through the windows and doors.

Air leakages from your room can lead to loss of cool air generated by the air conditioner, diminishing its efficiency. Furthermore, this will force it to operate for longer periods.

Aging houses can develop air leaks over time which negatively impact the air conditioner functionality. Accordingly, a thorough inspection of the house is necessary to identify and resolve any leaks.

Caulk and weatherstrip products can be used to seal air leakages. This guarantees that cool air remains within the space and effectively minimizes the working hours of your air conditioner.

5. Install Your Thermostat Strategically and Adjust It Upwards

The location of the thermostat will directly impact the performance of your air conditioner.

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It should be located at the center of your house and away from appliances such as stereos, furnaces, televisions, and lamps.

Maintaining the thermostat temperatures within a defined scope of degrees, especially during summer, can ensure that your air conditioner operates using fewer resources and avoids full operation modes, which minimize its efficiency.

6. Avoid Using Registers to Control the Temperature.

Registers are essential components to maintain good aeration of your space. However, it is important to avoid opening them to avoid reducing the efficiency of your air conditioning system.

Even a minor attempt to open the registers can reduce the HVAC system’s efficiency. Also, it damages your air conditioner.

Opening the registers while the system is running gradually affects the cooling load and the cooling capacity of the AC system, leading to an eventual system failure.

That is why it is highly advisable not to use registers while running your air conditioner to improve its life span as well as its efficiency.

7. Limit the Impact of Temperature on AC Performance

The main heat contributor and most frequent threat to AC efficiency are home appliances. They contribute to space heat such as microwaves and drying machines.

As such, modifying the cooling or the thermostat by using fans would help limit AC overload.

Additionally, AC systems that are in direct contact with sunlight, or which are responsible for cooling rooms with long sunlight exposure, suffer from the excess heat of the sun’s rays and have to work overtime to compensate for this heat, which makes them highly inefficient.

That is why you should evaluate your AC’s exposure to solar heat, and take advantage of curtains and shades.

It is also advisable to place your AC system on the east or north of your house. This way you can keep it away from the harsh summer sun rays.

Additionally, nearby trees can offer a convenient shading solution to prevent the sun’s glare from reaching your air conditioner.

Wrapping Up

The methods and measures highlighted in this article can serve as a general guide to increase the efficiency of air conditioning.

It is always advisable to get professional guidance from qualified technicians to oversee the measures. This will guarantee the proper implementation and system efficiency.

Implementing these measures will guarantee an air conditioning system with reduced energy utility bills and healthier operations. Besides, it will bring longer machine lifespans, ensuring a long-lasting comfortable effect on your spaces.

Munazza Umar

Munazza holds a degree in electrical engineering. She loves writing about energy efficiency, energy hacks, and environmental sustainability.

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