Department of Energy reports show that approximately half the total utility bills in the average home relate to heating and cooling. This means that air conditioning is one of the largest domestic expenses for many households. As the temperatures start to rise, you may be concerned about keeping cool without it breaking the bank. Fortunately, there are some no cost ways to boost the efficiency of your air conditioner.

Clean Your Outdoor Unit

The condenser unit for your air conditioning system is usually placed outside, and this can create efficiency problems. As leaves, grass clippings and other debris is blown around your yard; they can accumulate around the outdoor unit. This reduces airflow and forces the system to work harder to compensate. Your outdoor unit should have space around all sides to ensure proper airflow, so take a little time to inspect your unit and ensure that it is clean. This should be done before the cooling season begins, but if there has been inclement weather, such as high winds, it is worth checking the unit to ensure it is free of debris.

Keep Your Vents Unblocked

Your vents also require proper airflow, so you need to ensure that they have not been blocked. It can be very easy to allow furniture, heavy drapes and even children’s toys to be placed in front of a vent and this will compromise efficiency. Additionally, dust and other debris can accumulate inside the vents, so be sure to vacuum any dust when you’re performing your regular cleaning chores.

Increase Your Thermostat

Even adjusting your thermometer by 5 degrees can make a significant impact on your energy bills. You’ll need to turn your thermostat up in summer and down in winter, but an increase shouldn’t impact your comfort level, but save some serious money. If you want to be super efficient, ensure that you program your thermostat to automatically adjust at different times of the day when you are not home.

Move Your Lamps Away From the Thermostat

Lamps and any other appliances that produce heat should be kept away from anywhere near your thermostat. Any heat produced near the thermostat will give a false reading of the room temperature. This will mean that your air conditioning will start running or run for longer when it isn’t needed.

Open and Close Blinds and Drapes

Sunlight can generate a massive amount of heat through your windows, so if you want to keep your home cool, you can use your blinds and drapes. Familiarize yourself with how the sun moves around your home and close the blinds or drapes in the rooms where direct sunlight is hitting the window. You can then open them again when the sun has passed.

Avoid Cooking During the Hottest Part of the Day

Using your oven, stove or even dryer at the hottest times of the day will cause more warm air to be created in your home. This will cause the air conditioning to work harder for longer. So, make sure you stock up on cold lunches and leave making a full family dinner until later in the day.

If you do want to boost your air conditioner efficiency even further, you should have your system regularly serviced. An experienced HVAC technician can check your system to ensure it is performing at optimum efficiency.