Energy AC tips

DIY Energy Efficiency Tips

You rely on your AC system to stay cool and comfortable in the Tampa heat. So don’t make the mistake of neglecting it. These tips can help your AC system run more efficiently, save you money on cooling costs, improve your air quality, and more.

Saving Energy

To learn more about how you can reduce cooling costs, see our Money-Saving Solutions page
Set Your Thermostat between 72°F and 78°F:
For each degree you set your AC below 78, you will increase your energy consumption by approximately 8%. That can quickly add up to a lot of money each year, so choose the lowest temperature setting which is still comfortable for you.
Install Weather Strips:
Weather strips on windows and doorways can help prevent cooled air from escaping so you save money on AC costs.
Consider Zoning:
If you don’t use all of the rooms in your home throughout the day, then zoning may be able to save you considerable money on cooling costs. However, it is crucial that the zoning system is properly installed to work correctly. Talk to our experts about whether you can benefit from AC zoning.
Talk to Your Landscaper:
Planting trees or shrubs in certain places in your yard can reduce the amount of sunlight which hits your home, and thus help keep your home cool.  This is especially true on the westward and southward sides of your home.   You can also improve the efficiency of your outdoor AC unit by up to 10% by shading it with shrubs.
Your HVAC Ducts Should Be Tested:
The typical American home is losing 20-30% of air through leaks and holes in the HVAC system.  We can determine how much energy you are losing by performing a HVAC duct test.  If losses are detected, steps can be taken such as sealing, repairing, or replacing ducts.
Vent Your Attic
About 30% of home heat is absorbed through the roof.  You can keep your home cooler by improving attic ventilation, such as by installing an attic vent fan.

Maintenance Tips

Get To Know Your AC System:
You don’t have to become an AC expert, but you should know the basic parts of your AC system. Make sure you know where all parts are located and the main components which need maintaining.
Have Your AC Maintained Yearly:
Before the start of each cooling season, you should have your AC system professionally maintained. This can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your AC unit, preventing breakdowns, and even reducing operating costs. We guarantee that you will save at least $79 on your yearly utility bills with our AC maintenance!
Change Air Filters Regularly:
AC air filters keep the air in your home cleaner and prevent debris buildup on AC parts, thus helping the AC system run more efficiently. AC filters should be changed before they start looking dirty. Look at the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type of air filter you have. Generally, they need to be changed about once every 1 to 3 months.
Are You Blocking the AC Unit?
Make sure there isn’t anything blocking the AC unit, such as foldable chairs you propped against the unit, leaves, shrubs, or debris.
Clean Condenser Coils:
Condenser coils must be kept clean. You can clean this yourself using a wet vacuum to remove any debris which has fallen around it. If the coils require a chemical cleaning because they are very dirty, then have a professional do this during your yearly maintenance.
Check Drain Pans and Drain Lines:
Drain pans and lines should always be kept clear of debris, algae, and mold. If they become clogged, you could have serious water damage problems on your hands! You can clean these yourself or have a professional do it.

Daily Tips

 Thermostat Location:
Make sure you don’t have any appliances or lights near your AC thermostat.  These appliances generate heat, which can make the thermostat think it is hotter in your home than it really is, so it turns on more often and wastes energy.
Any appliance which generates a lot of heat should be used during the evening or nighttime when it is cooler, such as dishwashers and washing machines.   Appliances like TVs and computers also generate a lot of heat so turn them off when you aren’t using them.
Use Blinds and Shades Wisely:
Sunlight can quickly increase the temperature inside your home.  Hang light-colored blinds or shades to block light from entering your home.  In the morning, cover east-facing windows and cover west-facing windows in the afternoon.
Ceiling Fans:
Ceiling fans will help you stay much cooler and improve air flow so you can reduce the thermostat setting on your AC unit.  Remember that ceiling fans should rotate counter-clockwise!
Try to not use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder, which in turn increases your utility bill.

Improve Air Quality

Change Air Filters:
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to change your air filters regularly! Also, make sure you are getting the right MERV rating air filter for your system and needs.
Have a Mold Inspection:
Mold is a very serious problem in Tampa homes, which is why we provide free mold inspections.  Your entire AC system and ducts will be inspected for mold.  Samples are sent to a partner lab and, if mold is found, we will provide you with a free report of recommended steps to take.
 Use a Dehumidifier:
When humidity levels get high, mold growth begins.  High humidity can also breed other contaminants like bacteria and mold.  Running your AC can remove humidity, but it also increases energy costs.  Talk to our Certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE) about how to use a dehumidifier wisely to improve your indoor air quality.
Remove the Source of Pollutants:
Get rid of air pollutants in your home such as by choosing non-toxic cleaning products and air fresheners.  If you smoke, do so only outdoors!
 Improve Ventilation:
The reason that air pollution is so bad indoors is because of poor ventilation.  Open windows at night when it gets cool to improve ventilation.

Upgrade Tips

Don’t Assume Bigger Is Better:
Just because an AC unit is bigger, it doesn’t mean it will cool your home better.  AC units must always be sized properly to your home or problems can occur like poor efficiency, condensation and mechanical failure.  AC systems must always be sized based on Manual J load calculations and NOT by the square footage of your home!
Understand SEER Ratings:
The minimum required SEER rating by law is now 13.  However, there are much more efficient AC units available.  Talk to our energy expert about how choosing a higher SEER unit can pay off.
Have Humidity Load Calculated Also: 
The Sensible Heat Ratio (SHR) must be considered when upgrading an AC unit.  This is the percent of the AC unit’s energy which goes towards dehumidifying compared to cooling.  Because mold growth is such a problem in Tampa, it is important to get the SHR right or to account for other humidity control methods.
 Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Air Ducts:
Installing a high SEER AC unit won’t do much good if you are losing air through holes in your ducts.  Have duct work tested for losses and make recommended repairs.
Incorporate Automatic Controls:
AC settings can be automated for efficiency.  In residential homes, this can be as simple as installing a programmable thermostat.
Get Your Tax Rebate!
The Federal Government offers substantial tax rebates on qualifying models.  Don’t miss this opportunity to get cash in your pocket.  At Anchor Air Conditioning, we know exactly which unit can quality for a tax rebate.