How to Make an AC More Efficient

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written by:

Updated May 17, 2023

If you are looking to get cool and stay cool this summer, you may wonder how to make an air conditioner more efficient. First, make sure the AC is the right size for the room. Keep the filters clean by changing or cleaning them regularly. Have a professional check the AC sometimes to keep it in good shape. Use a programmable thermostat to save energy when you’re not using the AC. Close doors and windows tightly so the cool air stays inside. Use fans to help move the cool air around. Also, keep curtains or blinds closed during the hot part of the day and don’t use appliances or lights that make heat.

This will make your window A/C colder, especially if you correctly install the air filter in your A/C. Even the best air conditioners, after all, can benefit from some efficiency-enhancing protocols to keep your energy bills down.


  • Increasing the efficiency of your air conditioning unit is crucial for keeping comfortable and for reducing utility bills. This is provided your central A/C is installed correctly, and the central A/C is properly maintained.
  • Start by changing out or cleaning any air filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions to improve the airflow of central air conditioners and window units.
  • You can also run the AC on a set and strict schedule and spend some time beefing up your home’s insulation, avoiding direct sunlight if possible. Unless it’s a 2-stage air conditioner, then it can adjust its compressor according to the room temperature.

Making an Air Conditioner More Efficient

Aside from learning how to make a solar-powered air conditioner that obtains energy from solar panels, air conditioning systems are going to cost you through your electricity bills when you use them since they consume electricity to perform their cooling process. However, there are a few common-sense ways to cut down on these costs by increasing overall efficiency.

Insider Tip

Buying a new air conditioner can also help improve efficiency, as modern units are generally thought to be more efficient.

Replace or Clean the Filters

  1. One of the best and easiest ways to increase your AC unit’s efficiency is to replace or clean the air filters.
  2. For washable air filters, follow the instructions to get them cleaned and then replace them back into the AC.
  3. For replaceable filters, purchase a properly fitting model. Consult your air conditioner’s instructions for a list of integrable filters.
  4. Replace or clean air filters every one to three months for best results.

Do Not Use the AC as Much

  1. A simple, yet occasionally painful, way to increase efficiency is to simply refrain from using the AC unit, saving it for especially hot days.
  2. Learn how to mimic an air conditioner with a fan or open up the windows to increase airflow.
  3. Of course, if you are having trouble getting comfortable, don’t hesitate to turn on the AC. Instead, practice turning it on and off as needed.

Look to Insulation

  1. Improve your home’s insulation to make your AC more efficient.
  2. Start by covering windows with thick blankets or drapes and by making sure there are no obvious cracks leading to the outside.
  3. Add an insulating layer to any doors that lead outside and try to keep doors and windows shut when the AC is not being used.

STAT: Central air conditioners circulate cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers (i.e., openings in the walls, floors, or ceilings covered by grills) carry cooled air from the air conditioner to the home. (source)

Contain the Cool Air

  1. If you have a portable or window air conditioner, contain the cool air to centralize it into a single room or set of rooms.
  2. Get this done by shutting all doors leading to these rooms, and don’t forget about windows.
  3. Avoid using appliances that create heat in this space. This includes ovens, dryers, and even irons.


How to make air conditioning less of an environmental nightmare?

Invest in a programmable thermostat and related air conditioner efficiencies to lower the ecological costs of using one of these appliances. As an added bonus, your energy costs will go down.

Is your A/C leaking water?

If your air conditioner is leaking water, you could have dirty filters, or your heat pump or related component could be damaged. You could also just have a leak, which is common with outdoor units.

Is shading your air conditioner worth it?

To keep your house cool, many believe in shading the outdoor condenser, meaning providing amply shade around the device. This is helpful if you can do it on the cheap.

Lawrence Bonk Profile image