As the warmer months approach, 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 air conditioner more effectively. Follow these 12 simple tips and techniques to keep your AC in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
Constantly adjusting the thermostat makes your air conditioner 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 home. Then, refrain from touching it. If you get overheated, remove} 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 above your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” consider installing a programmable thermostat. This simple upgrade allows you to program temperatures based on your daily routines, automatically adjusting 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 air conditioner to work harder than it normally would. To minimize heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. 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 raising operating costs. 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.
Using fans in conjunction with your air conditioner circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while barely increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to set the temperature higher without sacrificing comfort.
Cooking and showering generate heat and moisture. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling load. Also, make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your home.
High humidity levels make your home feel cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while consuming much less electricity than running the air conditioner.
The outdoor unit’s location impacts its performance significantly. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades it 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 installing a screen to shade it. Just ensure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t impede airflow.
Cooking, laundry and dishwashing cause indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Completing these tasks in the evening when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
A dirty filter restricts airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it regularly to promote optimal performance. Most basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate replacement schedule for your product.
Leaky, uninsulated ducts waste significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spaces like the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and reduces energy costs.
Regular tune-ups are essential to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Hire a licensed technician 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 identify and address 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 unparalleled expertise and commitment 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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