6 No-Cost Ways to Improve Air Conditioning Efficiency

6 No-Cost Ways to Improve Air Conditioning Efficiency

Your air conditioning unit needs all the help it can get, it needs to be working at peak efficiency. There are lots of factors that influence how well your air conditioner is working. If you’re looking to save a few bucks on the power bill while still keeping your home at a reasonable temperature, you’re in luck. Here are some ways you can achieve this without spending any money.

Keep the condenser unit clean

The outdoor unit of your air conditioner is constantly exposed to the outside. Due to the fact that these units rarely have any protection, dirt and debris tend to accumulate on every side of them. This can drastically decrease their efficiency.

Outside condenser units need to be clean to effectively do their job. Luckily, this isn’t something that needs professional experience to clean. It’s as simple as giving it a thorough wipe down. However, the amount of dust you might find on the condenser would prove to be a bit too much for wiping. You could always get ahold of the vacuum cleaner and use it to clean up the messes all around the condenser. It’s a lot more convenient and you don’t have to come in contact with much of the dirt and debris.

You don’t have to clean it all that often, either. Dirt and dust will only pile up after a while, and the efficiency doesn’t drop until there’s quite a bit of dirt there. Aim for a thorough clean every couple of weeks or so and you should see good results.

Adjust the thermostat

It might seem like the most obvious solution in the world, but using less of your AC is pretty good for it. It’s not just that using it less causes less wear and tear, there are other factors to consider. Your AC unit uses a lot of power to make the tiniest of changes in ambient temperature.

Changing the temperature by just one degree uses a ton of power. This puts extra strain on your air conditioner, without giving you much of a benefit. During the summer and winter months, you should adjust your thermostat to a temperature closer to the middle. As long as you don’t feel too uncomfortable with some middle-of-the-road temperatures, you should keep the AC work to a minimum. It’s going to help preserve the unit and keep your home at an appropriate temperature much longer.

Shut the blinds

When the summer is scorching hot, you’re going to want to shut the windows and start cranking up that AC unit. It’s the best way to keep the heat from getting inside. However, even with ideal insulation and closed windows, you still aren’t keeping out all the heat. A lot of it can leak through the windows even when they’re closed. Windows might protect from hot air entering, but they don’t stop the sun’s rays.

This is one of the reasons just about every home in Australia has blinds on its windows. They’re convenient tools for keeping out the blinding summer lights when you want to have some afternoon shut-eye, but they also stop the sun from heating up your home from the inside. Otherwise, your air conditioner would just be cooling down your home and doing extra work for no reason. Shut the blinds and you’re going to notice your home become a lot cooler.

Run appliances at night

Every appliance produces a little bit of heat every time that it’s used. It’s a negligible amount for most kinds of electronics, but they still generate heat. You might think that this tiny bit of heat doesn’t mean much, but it can really add up throughout the day. As the appliance keeps working, it continuously produces more and more heat.

Consider washing machines as an example. They can be left to run for hours and hours. Whenever you walk into the washing room it's going to look like a sauna. This temperature shift gradually transfers to every part of your home and it slowly gets warmer inside. Because of this, your thermostat has to keep the AC unit working even harder just to maintain the temperature that you've chosen. It's just extra work for the air conditioner.

This mostly poses a problem during the hottest hours of the day. If you start your washing machine or dryer at three in the afternoon, you’re just adding to the scorching temperature inside the house. The AC unit needs to go into overtime to make up for the difference inside. Why not simply use larger appliances during the night? The temperature slowly goes down as the night goes on, and this provides you with the perfect opportunity to use these appliances. Instead of wasting power through your air conditioner, you're balancing out the temperature and allowing the appliance to slightly heat up your home as it's getting colder and colder. This is an ideal solution for those transitional periods between seasons, where the days are sweltering and the nights are chilly.

Clear the vents and filters

Many Australian homeowners forget to give their air conditioners a seasonal clean before the summer starts. Maintaining your air conditioner is crucial if you want it running at peak efficiency. Like any electronic device, your AC unit requires regular maintenance to keep working well. Much like how the external part of the condenser accumulates dust and dirt, so too do the inside portions of the HVAC system. This is most prominent on the indoor vents and filtration systems of the air conditioner. Particles of dust obstruct the airflow and reduce the efficiency of your filters and ventilation system.

This problem is especially prominent in big cities, as there’s an overabundance of dust and other particles that need to be filtered out by the AC. When it comes to efficient air conditioning in Sydney, you need a thorough cleaning to get the unit working well throughout the summer. You could always get a vacuum and clean up the vents by yourself, but the filters re a bit difficult. You would be better off calling professionals to take care of it, as they have the right tools and cleaning supplies to get the filter clean enough to increase efficiency.

Keep heat away from the thermostat

Your thermostat plays a key role in keeping your home at an adequate and comfortable temperature. It uses the ambient temperature around it to determine how hot it is and then it relays this information to the AC unit. If it’s above your desired setting, it’s time to turn on the air conditioner. It’s a pretty simple and effective way to keep your home at an even temperature.

However, the temperature reading around your thermostat isn’t always representative of the whole house. Sometimes, Australian homeowners place their thermostat worryingly close to windows or kitchens. This can cause false readings which influence how much power is spent by quite a bit. If you’re cooking a three-course meal and getting the kitchen hot, this heat could reach the thermostat if it’s close enough. It will determine that it’s too hot in the home and start using the air conditioner to cool it down. It’s a false alarm and you often end up with an unnecessarily cold home during the summer. Plus, it wastes tons of energy cooling things down even lower.

This can also happen during winter. If your thermostat is located pretty close to a window, the drop in temperature when you open the window can have a detrimental effect on the ambient temperature of the home. The thermostat will detect lower temperatures and start cranking up the heat. Remember to keep your thermostat somewhere it can get a good and representative reading of your entire home’s temperature.


Keeping your air conditioner working well throughout the summer is easy enough. You just have to maintain and clean it every once in a while. Don't forget to better insulate your home and keep it from heating up more than it should.

Last updated:11/25/2019 6:24:24 AM
Alexis Walker

Alexis Walker

Alexis is a Sydney-based part-time lifestyle writer and a full-time mom of two. Her words carry the richness of her travelling and parenting adventures, offer advice and inspiration to those who desire to improve their lives. Outside of the office, she takes pleasure in spending precious time with her youngsters and absorbing the happiness they constantly radiate.


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