When you live somewhere that gets as warm as it does here in the San Ramon area, then it goes without saying that you need a powerful and effective air conditioner. But you also need it to be affordable, right? This is where its efficiency comes in.
Efficiency is the measurement of how much power your air conditioner consumes versus the output it gives you. Your air conditioner comes with a SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) upon manufacturing, and the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient that system is.
But certain practices can help or hurt this SEER rating over the years. The good news is, this is in your control! Read on to learn how to ensure you’re using your cooling system as efficiently as possible.
If you haven’t already done so this year, now is the perfect time to schedule professional maintenance for your air conditioner. Maintenance allows our technicians to thoroughly inspect, clean, and adjust components that need it. This reduces repair needs, helps your air conditioner last longer, and you guessed it–keeps your system working as efficiently as possible!
In fact, skipping a year of maintenance can account for a 5% drop in that SEER rating we mentioned above. But with maintenance, your air conditioner has the potential to retain up to 95% of its original efficiency rating throughout its entire 10-15 year useful service life.
Set the Thermostat at a Reasonable Temperature
When it’s not, really hot, and you come home after a long day, what temperature do you set your thermostat at for your AC? Some homeowners will go as low as possible–most air conditioners can cool as much as 68°F–thinking it will help their home cool down faster.
The truth is, this extremely low setting just makes your air conditioner run longer and is really inefficient. It will try to meet that desired temperature, but will likely be unable to, especially if it’s an 80-90°F day outside.
A reasonable temperature setting, that keeps most people comfortable throughout the day, is 78°F. This will allow your compressor to cycle in regular intervals and will enable the system to work more efficiently overall. Also, it’s actually more efficient to keep your air conditioner set to “cool” all day at a higher temperature setting than it is to turn it on when you get home.
Use Your Ceiling Fans!
Ceiling fans cannot lower the temperature inside your home on their own, but they can certainly help your air conditioner work more efficiently. This is because they help better distribute the chilled air coming into your home. This way, you can keep the thermostat at a higher temperature, and as we mentioned above, that’s more efficient!
Keep the Blinds and Shades Closed
This tip is an especially important one for south-facing windows, that get the most sunlight during the hottest part of the day. If you keep the blinds and curtains closed, you’re keeping out ambient heat, and your air conditioner may start cycling on later in the day, making for more efficient cooling.