Having an efficient air conditioner can offer a range of benefits including lowering your overall monthly or annual energy bill, increasing the comfort levels in your home, and reducing the amount of repairs or replacements you may need over the years.

5 air conditioning efficiency mistakes

Use the Proper Size

There are a wide range of air conditioner and HVAC unit sizes to suit your home or business. Each air conditioner will be rated for a certain cubic feet measurement in the building. As the homeowner you are responsible for ensuring your air conditioner is the proper size for the space you are installing it.

Both window units and exterior HVAC units will be better suited for certain room sizes. Some units are able to properly cool large buildings, while others are suited for single rooms or spot cooling as needed.

Failing to Maintain the Air Filters

Staying on top of your air filter maintenance and replacement is a simple yet vital task to improve efficiency. Clogged air filters will reduce the airflow throughout your air conditioner, taking it longer than usual to cool the room.

Replacing your air conditioner’s air filter is normally a simple process you can do on your own without the need for hiring a repair professional. In addition to a clean air filter improving the airflow and cooling efficiency, it also reduces the amount of dust, dander, and pollen that may be blown back into your room.

Fiddling with the Thermostat

Staying on top of your thermostat adjustments is important. While you might enjoy colder temperatures in your home, maintaining a more mild temperature can be more efficient in the long term than cooling your home well below a certain threshold.

If you find yourself manually adjusting your thermostat multiple times throughout the day, you can get better efficiency by using a programmable or smart thermostat. These devices will automatically change throughout the day as you schedule changes.

Not Maintaining your Coils

The coils in an air conditioner will aid in evaporation and improve the speed at which heat is absorbed and dissipated. Heat needs to be moved quickly in order to increase the efficiency of your air conditioner.

Over time, dust and other grime can build up on the coils in your air conditioner, making them less efficient at absorbing heat. In order to improve cooling, try cleaning the coils with a brush or vacuum cleaner once or twice a year as the weather changes in your area.

Not Maintaining your System

While the initial cost of a new air conditioning unit can be high, staying on top of regular maintenance will extend the period of time between needing replacements. Repair costs over time can add up, but if regular maintenance is performed the repairs going forward will be small and manageable.

Most air conditioners can last for many years, with 10 years or longer not being uncommon. If you are using an older model air conditioner, it may be more efficient to replace it with a newer version.

Learn more about central air conditioning efficiency from Energy.gov »