As the hot summer months get closer, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without sending your electricity bills through the roof. The secret lies in using your AC more effectively. Follow these 12 simple tips and techniques to keep your air conditioner in optimal condition, minimize energy consumption and save money.
Constantly adjusting the thermostat makes your AC work harder, raising energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To maximize efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re inside the residence. Next, refrain from moving it. If you get overheated, take off} a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without turning down the temperature.
For the most savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees higher than your standard setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” it might be a good idea to consider installing a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to schedule temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and conserving energy when you’re away.
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it normally would. To reduce heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows during the hottest part of the day. Window coverings with light-colored backings reflect sunlight the best.
Blocked or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and upping operating expenses. To prevent this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.
Running fans in conjunction with your air conditioner circulates cool air more, making your home feel more comfortable while slightly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, specifically, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, enabling you to set the temperature higher without giving up comfort.
Cooking and showering generate heat and moisture. Turn on your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling burden. Additionally, make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your residence.
Significant humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while requiring substantially less electricity than running the air conditioner.
The outdoor unit’s location affects its operation significantly. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shelters the unit during the hottest part of the day for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest part of the day, consider planting a tree or getting a screen to shade it. Just ensure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t impede airflow.
Cooking, laundry and doing the dishes lead to indoor heat gain, making your HVAC system work harder. Conducting energy-using activities like these later in the day when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
A dirty filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so switch it out on a regular basis to promote maximum performance. Many basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct replacement schedule for your product.
Leaky, uninsulated ducts squander significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spots in your home such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and reduces energy spending.
Scheduled tune-ups are recommended to keep your AC running successfully. Employ a licensed specialist to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This precautionary measure extends your air conditioner’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to identify and deal with potential issues before they become costly problems.
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in the U.S.. Our customers choose us again and again for our unrivaled knowledge and dedication to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Work with our crew to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.
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