Use a programmable thermostat and set all times to your desired comfort level (72–74) except during the peak demand hours of 2–7pm. During these times set the temperature up a few degrees to 75–78. This will allow your air conditioner to maintain temperature during milder periods of the day and reduce the need for your system to play catch up during the hottest part of the day when the AC is at its worst efficiency. If your system does need to run a lot during peak hours to keep your home cool that’s normal. It is more economical and efficient to run continuous rather than to cycle it off and on.
Have your AC system maintained annually. Dirty coils and filters reduce efficiency causing excessive run times, which increase energy costs. As a condenser coil gets dirty it loses its ability to dissipate the heat energy absorbed from inside the conditioned area (inside the house) to the outside.
If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old it may be worth replacingit with a properly sized high–efficiency system. A new properly sized air conditioner will cost less than $80 per month to keep a 2200 square foot house cool!
Add a solar powered attic fan that will keep your attic cooler and reduce the cooling loadon your home by up to 20%! Best of all its free to operate! There may also be tax incentives for the purchase of them.
Shade windows on south and west facing windows by keeping blinds closed, installing exterior shading or new energy efficient Windows to keep the solar gain out.
Never set your AC below 70 degrees. This is really too cool and residential units are not designed to run this low. Doing so will often freeze the indoor coil sometimes causing an unnecessary repair call. Remember your thermostat is NOT an accelerator, turning it down further than the desired set point will NOT make it get there quicker.
Try to minimize indoor cooking. Stoves and ovens generate a lot of heat. Boiling water also adds to the load of your air conditioner. Use your microwave and BBQ and enjoy the lazy, hazy days of summer with lighter, cooler food choices!
Try to enjoy a quicker, cooler shower (which will also minimize hot water use!). Be sure to run your bathroom exhaust fan during and after showering. This will reduce humidity, which plays a huge factor in the efficiency of your central air conditioner and your indoor comfort level!
If you have a 2–story home, close all basement registers along with unnecessary floor registers on the main floor. Be sure ALL upstairs registers are open, even in rooms you don’t use. Also, running your fan on continuous mode will circulate air around the house, moving cold air from lower levels throughout the house and reducing run time on your air conditioner.