There aren’t many things that HVAC professional will tell you that you can do on your own when it comes to servicing your air conditioner. In fact, we actively advise against trying to do AC repairs on your own as it can lead to injury, or at least further damage to your air conditioner that could end up costing you.
HVAC pros have the proper experience, training, and licensing to perform all types of HVAC work. Maintenance is important too! Maintenance allows our technicians to fully inspect, clean, and adjust the components that need it–all of this helps your system work as efficiently and effectively as possible, for as long as possible. It’s also a service you should really leave to the pros.
At this point you’re likely thinking, “okay, I get it! I won’t touch my air conditioner!” But don’t you worry, there actually are steps you can take all on your own, without the assistance of an HVAC technician, to boost the efficiency of your air conditioner so you can stay cooler, more affordably. Read on to learn more!
Raise the Temperature on Your Thermostat
“Wait, you want me to make it hotter than it needs to be in my home?”
No, not quite–hear us out! We don’t expect you to be uncomfortable in order to boost your air conditioning efficiency! But, there is a good chance that you may be turning your thermostat setting down much lower than you actually need to in order to stay comfortable in your home.
The fact of the matter is, most people can maintain comfort with a 78°F setting on their thermostat, but many homeowners set theirs down as low as 71°F. All this lower setting does is make your system run longer–it doesn’t actually help your air conditioner cool the home faster.
One last thermostat tip–raise the temperature when you’re not home and when you’re sleeping.
Use Your Ceiling Fans!
Now, it’s true, a ceiling fan on its own will not lower the temperature of the room that it’s in. However, a ceiling fan can certainly help you feel cooler, by helping sweat evaporate from your body, which is our natural way of keeping cool.
On a milder weather day, a ceiling fan might be sufficient on its own to keep you cool enough to forgo turning your air conditioner on and therefore keeping your bills lower. But on a warmer day when you really do need your air conditioner, you can also run your ceiling fans to help better distribute the air.
This way, you might not need to have such a high-temperature setting–which like the tip above, helps your air conditioner by not requiring it to run as long.
Change the Air Filter
The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC system is in place to protect that system from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and harm its sensitive components. If that air filter gets too clogged up, it restricts airflow and makes it harder for your air conditioner to efficiently and effectively do its job.
Depending on the type of air filter you have and the level of contaminants or particles in your home (say, from pet dander or cigarette smoke), you should swap out your air filter every 1-3 months.