Expert Offers Tips for Air Conditioner Efficiency

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 11:55am

It's the time of year when Americans crank up their air conditioners as the mercury climbs.

But are you getting the most out of your system?

Scott Kessler with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority says don't overdo it with the number of BTUs.

"A room air conditioner actually removes heat and humidity, so when it's too large it actually doesn't remove humidity as well and it leaves the room feeling cold, clammy and uncomfortable," he explains.

To make sure you have the right number of BTUs, describe the size of the room to your sales rep, or go online.

"You can go to and look and find out what size you need to meet that size room's need," Kessler advises.

Find out how much it costs to use the unit.

Kessler recommends looking for the Energy Star label and an Energy Efficiency Ratio of about 12.

If you already have a working air conditioner, make sure you're replacing the filters once a month.

More tips to keep you cool:

- Keep shades drawn, which can prevent up to ten percent of heat coming into your home.

- Use a ceiling fan if you can.

- If you have central AC, set a programmable thermostat to between 68 and 72 degrees.

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