Air conditioner sales have been sky rocketed in India in the recent time. With easy availability of electricity and increasing global temperature, AC has become more of a necessary than a luxury.
However, if you have not given due diligence at the time of AC installation and not doing good maintenance of the AC, there is a high chance they your electricity bill increased by huge amount. Also chances are that your maintenance costs have become pain.
Therefore, this guide will help you understand couple of essentials while buying an air conditioner:
- How to save electricity with air conditioner?
- How to maintain an air conditioner?
Let us take a deeper look into the tips to save electricity with best maintenance tips.
How to Reduce Air Conditioner Power Consumption?
The following factors affect the electricity consumption of an AC unit. So one should be careful to optimize the power utilization of an AC unit.
- Indoor and outdoor temperature
- Insulation of the room
- Temperature setting of the thermostat
Tip-1: Reduce Indoor/outdoor temperature difference
A lot depends on the difference in the temperature between the outdoor and indoor temperature. Higher the difference, the greater is the electricity consumption. Statistics show that a difference of one degree can result in a consumption of 3 to 5% of units. Hence, if the outdoor temperature is 36 degrees, setting the thermostat at 18 degrees will consume more electricity than if you set the thermostat to 24 degrees.
Tip-2:Set ideal temperature – 24 degrees
Experience shows that the ideal temperature setting is 24 degrees. This is the most comfortable you can get. At the same time, it saves you a lot of electricity as well. One of the time-tested ways of reducing the temperature is to use ceiling fans along with the air conditioners.
Tip-3:Configure thermostat for optimum performance
Thermostat sets the temperature at which the compressor stops working. Once the room temperature increases over the set temperature, the compressor starts working again.
Myth: Setting thermostat at a lower degree will cool the room faster
People have the wrong notion that setting the thermostat at a lower temperature helps in cooling the room faster. The thermostat has nothing to do with the cooling of the air. It performs the role of shutting off the compressor when the temperature reaches the desired level.
For example, if you set the thermostat to 24 degrees, the compressor will stop working the moment the temperature reaches this level. It starts again once the temperature increases.
Once the compressor stops, the fans take over. The electricity consumption is reduced to a great extent. The thermostat detects if the temperature has increased. Once it does so, the compressor starts working again. Note that the compressor is the component that consumes the maximum electricity.
Switching the compressor on and off at regular intervals saves you considerable amount of power.
Working behind Quick Cool
Many people set the thermostat to a level of say 16 or 18 degrees using the Quick Cool concept. This entails that the compressor will stop working only when the temperature reaches the set temperature. In case you had set the temperature at 24 degrees, the compressor would have stopped much earlier thereby saving a lot of electricity in the bargain.
Functioning of old ACs without thermostat
The thermostat is available in the present day AC units. In the olden days, there was no concept of thermostat. The compressor would stop and start functioning at fixed intervals. There was no temperature control. These AC units had a high, medium, and low option. That denoted the fan speed. Hence, setting the fan at a higher speed ensured that the air flow was greater.
Tip-4: Save Electricity with Optimum Installation of AC
Exercising a bit of care at the initial stage can save you a lot of money in the long run.
No cramped space
You should ensure to leave a lot of space for the proper installation of the AC. You need this space in case of carrying out of repairs to the AC. Installing the AC in a cramped space can make it difficult for you to carry out regular maintenance of the equipment.
Lack of maintenance can automatically lead to an increase in the electricity bills. You should have sufficient space to removing the filters and cleaning them.
No overhead cupboards
In case you have a split AC, you should ensure that there are no overhead cupboards or shelves near the place where you install the indoor unit. Having the indoor unit in the centre portion of the walls is the best way to ensure proper circulation of the cool air.
No open outdoor space
Similarly, you should ensure that you install the outdoor unit in a shaded portion on the terrace. In case you install the same on the window sill, make sure that the window is on the east or north side of the house. You ensure that minimum sunlight falls on this unit. This can keep the outdoor unit comparatively colder and hence increase the efficiency of the AC.
How to Maintain an Air Conditioner? 10 Proven Ways.
Irregular maintenance of the air conditioner can increase the operating costs of the AC to abnormal levels, irrespective of AC brand you have. If you have taken good care of AC during the year and kept ready before the onset of the summer, this will lower any chance of mal-functioning.
Let us check some of the critical maintenance tips for better summer days 🙂
1. Cut down heat by other electronic devices
There can be other electronic devices in the room such as computers, laptops, televisions, and music systems. This equipment emits a lot of heat when they are in use. Hence, you should see to it that you switch off these instruments when not in use.
2. Isolate other heat emitting devices
Similarly, you should note not to place these instruments near the air conditioner thermostat. It will have a negative effect on the functioning of the thermostat and make the AC condenser work harder.
3. Clean the air filters before start of summer
One should ensure to clean the air filters before the commencement of the summer months. Accumulation of dust on the filters impacts the flow of air into the air conditioner. This makes the AC work harder. Cleaning the filters is easy. However, a mechanic can do a better and cleaner job.
4. Change the refrigerant periodically
Change the refrigerant at periodical intervals. Cleaning the condenser unit is also necessary in order to increase the efficiency of the AC.
5. Minimize outside air entry
Every AC has a fresh air vent. This allows the outside air to enter the AC. The principal job of the AC is to cool the air inside the room. The entry of outside air into the AC can make the condenser work harder.
6. Cover compressor when not in use
Covering up the compressor during the winter when the AC is not in use is also a good way to ensure that it remains fit for working during the summer months.
7. Ensure rear drain does not accumulate water
The rear drain is very important. Water should drain out of the AC. In case it accumulates inside, it can not only damage the coils but also cause electrical short circuits.
8. Check the insulation
The insulation should be perfect. The windows and the ventilators are the main culprits that allow the air to escape. One should be very careful while insulating the gaps. Similarly have carpets or rugs inside the room. This ensures that the cool air does not escape from below the doors.
9. Set ideal temperature – 24 degrees
Maintain the temperature of the room at around 24 to 25 degrees Celsius. This saves you a lot of electricity.
10. Run it by professionals as necessary
Consult a professional to check on the AC at regular intervals. The evaporator coils and condenser coils require cleaning. Similarly dust can accumulate in the gaps of the coil fins. Remove this dust to decrease the load on the condensing unit.
If you have thought buying an AC appliance is a major headache, then you are wrong. Maintaining an AC appliance for optimum performance is very critical. As you seen above, in the absence of good maintenance, you will end up with high electricity bill and maintenance costs.
We hope that above tips will be handy for atleast few of you to save on electricity bill and maintenance cost of air conditioners.