As the warmer 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 air conditioning unit better. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and strategies to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, decrease energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Repeatedly adjusting the thermostat makes your cooling system 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 too warm, remove 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 the most savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees above your typical setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” consider using a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically adjusting the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and saving energy when you’re away.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your air conditioner to work harder than it normally would. To decrease 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 work the best at reflecting the sun's rays.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating costs. To avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are blocked by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Using fans along with your air conditioner circulates cool air more, making your home feel more comfortable while barely increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, especially, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to set the temperature higher without sacrificing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering produce heat and humidity. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling load. Additionally, verify your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your residence.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
High humidity levels make your home feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while consuming a lot less electricity than operating the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location impacts its effectiveness considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades the equipment 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 make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hinder airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and doing the dishes cause indoor heat gain, making your AC work harder. Completing these tasks in the evening when temperatures aren't as high reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A clogged filter blocks airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it routinely to promote optimal performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts waste significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spots in your home including the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork increases system efficiency and lowers energy expenses.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Regular tune-ups are crucial to keep your air conditioning system running efficiently. Hire an accredited 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.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Grand Island
At McElroy Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering extensive AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Grand Island. Our customers choose us again and again for our unparalleled know-how and dedication 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.