Check the drain hose to make sure water drains freely.
Hose off the outdoor condensing unit in the spring to remove
dirt and leaves.
Set the thermostat at 78
degrees. Every degree lower increases the operating cost.
Give the unit time to cool
the home. Setting the temperature lower won’t cool the house faster—it just costs more.
Be sure your air conditioner is not blocked. A free flowing air conditioner operates most efficiently Be sure the return air grill inside your house is not blocked by furniture or other items. Filters should be checked monthly.
When air conditioning is on, keep doors and windows closed Turn off kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans when your air conditioning is operating.
Caulk and weather-strip leaky windows and doors.
Shade your home from direct sunlight. Use shades, drapes, awnings, trees and shrubs to block the hot sun from heating up your home.
If you suspect your air conditioning system is not cooling properly, have it checked promptly. A unit that is having operational problems can cause extremely high bills.
If your air conditioning equipment is older and less efficient, compensate by being extra careful about temperature settings, hours of operation and filter condition.
Replacing an old air conditioner with a high efficiency unit (new air conditioners use up to 40% less electricity than older models)
Sealing leaks in ductwork in your attic (the average home loses 15%-25% of cooling and heating through leaking ducts)
Adding attic insulation to R-30 (the average 15-year old home has between R-11 and R-15)
"Tune-up" your heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system with an annual maintenance contract. Even a new ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC system, like a new car, will decline in performance without regular maintenance. A contract automatically ensures that your HVAC contractor will provide "pre-season" tune-ups before each cooling and heating season. You save energy and money, and your system may last years longer with minimal costs for yearly maintenance fees.
Regularly change (or clean if reusable) HVAC filters every month during peak cooling or heating seasons. New filters usually only cost a few dollars. Dirty filters cost more to use, overwork the equipment and result in lower indoor air quality.
Install a programmable thermostat to automate your HVAC system. This electronic device optimizes HVAC operation "24/7" based on your schedule, and can be "overridden" as needed for unscheduled events. This "smart thermostat" can also turn on the HVAC system one hour before staff arrival, instead of heating or cooling unoccupied space to ensure the facility is comfortable and saving energy.
Control direct sun through windows, depending on the season and local climate. During cooling season, block direct heat gain from the sun shining through glass on the East and especially West sides of the facility. Depending on your facility, options such as "solar screens," "solar films," awnings, and vegetation can help keep facilities more cool. Over time, trees can attractively shade the facility, and help clean the air. Interior curtains or drapes can help, but it's best to prevent the summer heat from getting past the glass and inside. During heating season, with the sun low in the South, unobstructed southern windows can contribute solar heat gained during the day.
Use fans to maintain comfortable temperature, humidity and air movement, and save energy year round. Moving air can make a somewhat higher temperature and/or humidity feel comfortable. Fans can help delay or reduce the need for air conditioning, and a temperature setting of only three to five degrees higher can feel as comfortable with fans. Each degree of higher temperature can save about 3 percent on cooling costs. When the temperature outside is more comfortable than inside, a "box fan" in the window, or large "whole facility" fan in the attic can push air out and pull in comfortable air from the outside.
Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking. Caulking and weather stripping let you manage your ventilation, which is the deliberate controlled exchange of stuffy inside air for fresher outdoor air.