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You Can Help Your AC Be More Efficient: Here’s How


In our last post, we wrote about what you need to know about air conditioner efficiency ratings. As we mentioned in that post, the efficiency rating on an air conditioner isn’t an absolute about how much it will save over its service life. You can help your AC achieve the highest possible savings each year if you follow a number of tips.

Below, you’ll find the main ways you can stop your air conditioner from suffering an efficiency plunge (and your utility bills from skyrocketing) this summer.

Change the air filter every few months

This is the most important DIY maintenance step for an air conditioner. Leaving a clogged air filter in place can cause numerous problems, such as short-cycling, low indoor air quality, damage to the motors, tripped circuit breakers, and shortened equipment life. The most immediate effect is that it will raise your electricity bills. Put in a new filter every 1 to 3 months—more frequently for inexpensive panel filters, longer for pleated filters.

Keep up with professional maintenance

Annual maintenance for your air conditioner before summer is the number one way to ensure the system maintains its energy-efficiency rating for most of its service life. Maintenance takes care of many future issues for an AC, such as lowering the number of repairs it will need and extending its service life, so it’s something you should never miss. After only a few missed years of maintenance, you may end up paying 20% more to run your AC each time it comes on.

Raise, don’t lower the thermostat

This sounds like we’re cracked in the head, doesn’t it? But setting the thermostat too low is a common source of wasted energy. People who slam the thermostat up and down during the day like a yo-yo are putting extra stress on the air conditioner and causing it to waste money. We recommend you leave it on one setting–and you raise it to 78°F during the day. This is comfortable for most people, it allows the AC to run less, and it slows down heat from entering your house. (The colder the house is, the faster the outdoor heat floods in.)

Install a smart thermostat

Adjusting the thermostat to energy-saving temperatures becomes even easier when you have a “smart” thermostat to do most of the work. These handy gizmos create their own energy optimizing programs that know exactly what temperature to set for the house during any part of the day.

Never delay calling for repairs

When you suspect something is wrong with the air conditioner, but it still seems to be working, call for repairs anyway. Hesitating not only gives the malfunction time to get worse, and it will cause the air conditioner to waste money as it runs. The sooner you have the problem fixed, the less costly the problem.

You can trust Clawson whenever you need air conditioning service in Portland, OR. We have been family-owned since we started in business in 1995 and are NATE, EPA, ACCA-certified.

Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning serves greater Portland. Trust our NATE-certified technicians for all your air conditioning needs.

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