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What is the Most Efficient Way to Run your Central Air Conditioner?


All of us like to be comfortable indoors, even when it is hot and humid outdoors.  We also like to keep our utility bills under control.  What is the most efficient way to run your central air conditioner?  This HVAC guide will give you tips for staying cool without blowing the budget on high energy bills.

Tip #1: Set your Thermostat to 78

That might sound too warm, but for most people, 78 will be comfortable, especially with the lower humidity levels that are produced by air conditioning.  A home that is 78 degrees with the 35% to 40% humidity that ACs can feel as cool as 72 or 74 with higher humidity.

Tip #2: Use a Programmable Thermostat and Turn Up the Heat When Away

Is your home empty during the day or for long stretches?  Turn up the temperature to 85 while you’re away.  Program the system to come back on and lower the temperature before you are scheduled to get home.  You won’t know the difference!  Your pets probably won’t either, especially if you leave them plenty of cool, fresh water.

Tip #3: Vent your Attic

That may sound like an odd one, but it is vitally important.  In the summer, heat builds up in a poorly ventilated attic and pushes down into the house, making it warmer and causing the air conditioner to work extra hard to keep the house cool.  Several properly located vents in the attic will pay for themselves quickly as you reduce your air conditioning usage. It will help your roof last longer too, and reduce the chance of mold taking root in your home.

Tip #4: Use a Fan to Circulate Air

Moving air feels cooler.  Set the temperature on the thermostat to 78 and then move air around the room or rooms you are using with an oscillating fan.  It’s an ideal way to maximize the benefits of central air conditioning.

Tip #5: Keep the Blinds Closed

Keeping blinds, shades and curtains closed during the day can help prevent sun from penetrating and heating up the house.  Some window treatments are available with thermal lining that does a great job of keeping heat out of your home.

Tip #6: Get Rid of Hot Air

Running the range vent will help remove warm air when you are cooking.  Running the bathroom vent will do the same during showers.  Getting rid of the humidity, which makes the house feel warmer, will be an added bonus.  Taking these steps will keep your central air conditioner from working harder than it needs to.

Tip #7: Save Work for Cooler Times of the Day

Do you have housework to do?  Schedule it for early morning or later in the day when possible, when the house is normally cooler because of lower outdoor temperatures.  You won’t get as warm doing chores and will be less inclined to lower the temperature on the thermostat to compensate.


High energy bills can cause us to lose our cool quickly.  These tips will help you keep your home and your utility bills at a comfortable level all season long.

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