As the warmer months draw near, 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 efficiently. Follow these 12 simple tips and strategies to keep your AC in optimal condition, decrease energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Constantly adjusting the thermostat makes your AC work harder, increasing energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To boost efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re home. Next, refrain from moving it. If you get overheated, peel away a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without changing the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For maximum 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,” think about installing a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your everyday routines, automatically changing the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and saving energy when you’re not home.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your cooling system to work more than it normally would. To minimize heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows when the temperature is the hottest. Window coverings with light-colored backings work the best at reflecting the sun's rays.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Blocked or closed air vents throw off your AC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and upping operating bills. To stop this, make sure to have at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Running fans along with your air conditioning system circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while hardly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, specifically, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to set the temperature higher without giving up comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering create heat and humidity. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to lower your home’s cooling workload. Additionally, make certain your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to deter hot, humid air from releasing into your residence.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Elevated humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while using significantly less electricity than operating the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location affects its effectiveness considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shelters it during the hottest part of the day for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest time of the day, consider planting a tree or getting a screen to shade it. Just be sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t impede airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes lead to indoor heat gain, making your HVAC system work harder. Conducting energy-using activities like these at night when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A clogged filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so be sure to exchange it on a regular basis to promote optimal performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the ideal replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts lose significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spaces including the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork increases system efficiency and reduces energy expenses.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Scheduled tune-ups are recommended to keep your AC running properly. Hire a licensed professional to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This preventative measure extends your air conditioner's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and deal with potential issues before they become expensive problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Columbia
At Midland Air Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, such as installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Columbia. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction. In fact, we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every service we provide! Work with our friendly staff to keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.