Room A/C Energy Savers
A little planning before installing your
air conditioner will save you energy and money.
The unit should be level when installed, so that the inside
drainage system and other mechanisms operate efficiently.
If possible, install the unit in a shaded spot on your home's
north or east side. Direct sunshine on the unit's outdoor
heat exchanger decreases efficiency by as much as 10%. You
can plant trees and shrubs to shade the air conditioner, but
do not block the airflow.
Don't place lamps or televisions near your air-conditioner's
thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances,
which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Set your air conditioner's thermostat as high as comfortably
possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor
and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill
will be. And don't set your thermostat at a colder setting
than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will
not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive
cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
Set the fan speed on high, except on very humid days. When
humidity is high, set the fan speed on low for more comfort.
The low speed on humid days will cool your home better and
will remove more moisture from the air because of slower air
movement through the cooling equipment. Consider using an
interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner
to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home
without greatly increasing electricity use.
Proper maintenance of your air conditioner will also save
energy. Be sure to do the following:
- At the start of each cooling season, inspect the seal
between the air conditioner and the window frame to ensure
it makes contact with the unit's metal case. Moisture
can damage this seal, allowing cool air to escape from
- Check your unit's air filter once a month and clean
or replace filters as necessary. Keeping the filter clean
can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by
5% to 15%.
- Occasionally pass a stiff wire through the unit's drain
channels. Clogged drain channels prevent a unit from reducing
humidity, and the resulting excess moisture may discolor
walls or carpet.
In the winter, either cover your room air conditioner or
remove and store it.