As the hotter months approach, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your air conditioning unit more effectively. Follow these 12 simple ideas and techniques to keep your air conditioner in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
Frequently adjusting the thermostat makes your cooling system work harder, increasing energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To optimize efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re inside the residence. Then, refrain from moving it. If you start to get hot, peel away} a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without turning down the temperature.
For maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees higher than your typical setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” it might be a good idea to consider setting up a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to schedule temperatures based on your daily routines, automatically adjusting the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and not wasting energy when you’re not home.
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your AC run longer than it normally would. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows when the temperature is the hottest. Window coverings with light-colored backings are the most effective at reflecting sunlight.
Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and raising operating bills. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are blocked by curtains, furniture or rugs.
Using fans in combination with your air conditioner circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while slightly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, permitting you to set the temperature higher without sacrificing comfort.
Cooking and showering generate heat and humidity. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling burden. In addition, make certain your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to deter hot, humid air from releasing into your home.
Significant humidity levels make your home feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excessive moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while using much less electricity than using the air conditioner.
The outdoor unit’s location influences its effectiveness dramatically. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades the equipment in the afternoon for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest time of the day, consider planting a tree or using a screen to shade it. Just be sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t impede airflow.
Cooking, laundry and doing the dishes create indoor heat gain, making your AC work harder. Doing these activities in the evening when temperatures aren’t as high reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.
A clogged filter blocks 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 its best to follow 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 areas like the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and brings down energy spending.
Regular tune-ups are recommended to keep your air conditioning system running properly. Employ a licensed specialist to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This preventative measure extends your AC’s life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to uncover and address potential issues before they become expensive problems.
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, which include quality installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in the U.S.. Our customers choose us again and again for our unparalleled expertise and devotion to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Let our team help keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.
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