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The best air conditioners have become more efficient than ever as technology has progressed. However, getting the most out of your home air system requires knowing how to use an air conditioner to increase efficiency and lower utility bills during the summer months. And if you’re an avid camper, we also have an article about how to use an air conditioner in a tent and how to use a portable air conditioner. While your ideal temperature is down to personal preference, there are a few things you should know when using an AC. There are several ways to help with the energy efficiency of your new AC unit, and that includes using a smart thermostat, understanding the AC’s different settings, and keeping the filter clean.


  • You can save up to 30% on your air conditioning unit’s energy costs through a few simple measures.
  • Changing and cleaning air filters, especially with a central air unit, is one of the top ways to save on energy bills during the summer months.
  • Use smart technology, energy-saving settings, and fan modes on indoor units to keep your home just as cool for less money.

Using Your Air Conditioner

Whether it’s a portable air conditioner, central air, or window unit, there are many things AC owners can do to enhance their cooling systems. Below, we’ll outline the three most common ways to ensure your unit is as energy efficient as possible, thus allowing for the best indoor air quality. This includes whether to leave an air conditioner on when you’re not at home, and if you’re better off with a ceiling fan or air conditioner, or both. And for those who are looking to install a portable unit, we have a great article that covers how to use a portable air conditioner without a window.

Insider Tip

Many people don’t monitor humidity, which dramatically affects indoor temperature. The humidity should be between 30 to 50% to maintain a comfortable temperature in indoor spaces.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are worth every penny for those who own a central air conditioner and even a casement AC unit, which we further explain on a separate page if you’re wondering what a casement air conditioner is. There’s evidence that using smart thermostats via your mobile device to set timers, adjust temperatures, and operate your system from any location can easily save up to 25% on your energy costs.

Adjust Settings

Many functions go unused on air conditioning units, such as energy-saving, fan modes, and programmable timers. These options can all be used, based on your preferences, to keep energy costs down and homes adequately cooled.


Do all you can to avoid large swings in temperature changes, especially for your central air conditioner, because this is a common reason for soaring energy bills.

Clean Air Filter

For all types of air conditioners, but especially central air conditioning, one significant thing you can do to reduce energy costs is to replace your air filter routinely. For central air conditioning, do this every 3-4 months. However, the time frame depends on your area’s overall air quality, the number of pets you have in the house, and the type of air filter you’re using.

STAT: Replacing your air conditioner’s dirty filter with a clean one can reduce your indoor unit’s energy consumption by 15%. (source)

But this isn’t merely a measure to take with central AC units. For example, window air conditioners and portable units typically have a filter that should be vacuumed or washed at least once a season.


How low should you set your AC temperature when you’re away?

The department of energy suggests that people set their temperature to above 78 degrees when away from home.

How do you select an air filter if you have bad allergies?

The best metric to use for purchasing an air filter for those concerned with allergies is by selecting one that is pleated and has at least a 7-12 MERV rating.

How often should I change my air filter?

We recommend you change the filter every one or two months for the best possible air quality. However, the typical recommendation is 3-4 months.

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