Stuck With Window Air Conditioning Units? How To Operate Them More Efficiently

Posted on: 4 June 2015

Window air conditioning units have a bad rap when it comes to efficiency. Even the newer, more energy-efficient models can suck up a lot of electricity, raising your bills substantially in the summer. They also only cool small areas, meaning that you need many units to cool a large house. If you cannot afford to upgrade to central air this summer, try these three tips to operate your window units more efficiently.

Make sure your air conditioning unit is clean.

If there is dust and dirt built up on your air conditioner's coils, it will require a lot more energy to cool. Take a look at the back of your unit. If you see dust built up, use the wand attachment of your vacuum cleaner to suck it up. You can then brush the back of the unit with a soft brush to remove any lingering debris.

It's a good idea to have your window unit professionally cleaned every few years. Many appliance stores offer this service, and some HVAC specialists might, too. A professional (such as one from Advanced Heating & Cooling) can take part the unit and remove dirt from the more inner parts, increasing the unit's efficiency.

Have your unit recharged if needed.

The cooling system in your air conditioner needs to be recharged with refrigerant chemicals every so often. If the air your unit is blowing out does not feel overly cold, then it's probably time for a recharge. You'll use less electricity once the air conditioner has been recharged, since it will have to blow less very-cold air than somewhat-cold air to cool the room.

Replacing the refrigerant in an air conditioner is pretty dangerous, and it can only be legally done by someone who is certified to perform this service. Weigh the cost of replacing the refrigerant against the cost of a new air conditioner, too. Sometimes, you're better off just buying a new air conditioner, since new refrigerant is quite expensive.

Use the timer feature on your unit or install a timer switch.

Why pay to cool off a room if you're not even there? Most new air conditioners come with a thermostat, which you can set to ensure the air conditioner only turns on at certain times of day (when you're home). If your unit does not have this feature, you can buy a simple timer unit that you plug into the outlet. Plug your air conditioner into this timer, and it will only receive power to run at times when the timer is set to allow power to flow.

Window air conditioners do require quite a bit of electricity. Make sure your unit is clean, recharged, and on a timer, however, and you can minimize its power demands.