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How Much Electricity Does an AC Use?

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Did you know your heating and cooling costs can make up as much as 70% of your annual electric bill? Depending on where you live, air conditioning alone might account for 27% or more of every monthly utility bill you pay. With such substantial figures, it’s crucial to understand just how much electricity your AC consumes.

The amount of electricity an air conditioner uses depends on several factors, including the type of system you have. For instance, window units are common in many homes, and knowing their energy consumption can be eye-opening. In contrast, central air conditioning systems, prevalent in places like Arizona, generally consume less electricity, but their efficiency largely depends on how they are utilized.

In this article, we will guide you through:

With this knowledge, you might also consider consulting with an HVAC professional to explore efficiency upgrades that could reduce your electricity bills.

Ready to save on cooling?

Contact George Brazil Heating & Cooling to get AC repair services from Phoenix's most trusted HVAC company. We'll get your AC up and running in a single visit.

Understanding AC Energy Consumption

Air conditioning systems are essential for maintaining indoor comfort, especially during hot Arizona summers. They also drive your electric bill way up. Understanding how much electricity an AC uses is crucial for finding ways to keep your monthly expenses under control.

Size and Cooling Capacity

The size of an AC unit directly impacts its energy consumption. An oversized unit may cycle on and off frequently, leading to energy waste and uneven cooling. An undersized unit may run continuously, straining the system and consuming more electricity than necessary. Work with an HVAC pro to determine the right size for your home.

Efficiency Level

The efficiency of an AC unit is measured by its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating. Higher SEER ratings indicate greater energy efficiency, meaning the AC consumes less electricity to produce the same cooling output. When purchasing a new AC unit or evaluating an existing one, take a look at its SEER rating to see how much it costs to run.

Usage Patterns

How you use your AC determines how much electricity it uses. For example, keeping windows and doors closed while the AC is running prevents cool air from escaping, reducing the load on the system. Additionally, adjusting the thermostat settings based on occupancy can save energy. When you go to bed, you might want the temperature lower, but you should set it to go up a few degrees around sunset when outside temperatures typically cool off.

Maintenance History

Regular maintenance is crucial for an AC's efficiency and longevity. A well-maintained system operates more efficiently, consuming less electricity to cool your space. During annual maintenance, an HVAC technician cleans the unit, replaces any clogged air filters, checks refrigerant levels, and lubricates all moving parts.

Tips for Efficient AC Use

It's good to know what affects your cooling costs, but how much energy does an AC use if you're doing everything right? Each change could save you a significant portion of your cooling costs, sometimes reducing your out-of-pocket by 50% or more. Let's take a closer look at what you can do to save.

Schedule AC Maintenance Every Year

Every missed maintenance visit means a 5% decrease in energy efficiency and a resulting increase in your electric bill. Have your system serviced annually.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Putting in a programmable thermostat is a great way to make your usage habits more energy-efficient. That way, you won't be cooling the house when it's empty.

Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans cool the people in a space using the windchill effect, making them a great addition to your cooling arsenal. With ceiling fans running, you don't need to set the thermostat so low, and you can turn them off when no one is in the room.

Upgrade to a High-Efficiency Unit

The higher the energy-efficiency rating of the unit, the less it costs to lower the temperature in your home. Ask about the price differences, rebates, and possible tax savings available on a high-efficiency cooling unit.

Looking to upgrade your cooling system? Call George Brazil!

At George Brazil Heating & Cooling, we've been installing and repairing AC systems since 1955. With more than 2,000 5-star reviews, you can count on us to get the job done right.

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