As the hot summer months draw near, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without your energy costs soaring. The secret lies in using your air conditioner more effectively. Follow these 12 simple ideas and strategies to keep your air conditioner in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Constantly adjusting the thermostat makes your cooling system work harder, elevating 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 home. Then, refrain from moving it. If you start to get hot, remove a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without lowering the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees beyond 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 setting up a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your everyday routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and saving energy when you’re out.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your air conditioner to work harder than it really should. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. Window coverings with light-colored backings are the most effective at reflecting sunlight.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and raising operating expenses. 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
Utilizing fans along with your air conditioner circulates cool air more efficiently, 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, enabling you to set the temperature higher without giving up comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering produce heat and dampness. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling workload. In addition, ensure that your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to stop hot, humid air from releasing into your home.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Significant humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to lower the temperature. A dehumidifier takes out unwanted moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while requiring much less electricity than using the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location impacts its performance significantly. Installing it on your home’s north or east side protects the unit 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 installing a screen to shade it. Just ensure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hamper airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and doing the dishes cause indoor heat gain, making your HVAC system work harder. Completing these tasks at night when temperatures aren't as high reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A clogged filter blocks airflow and increases energy consumption, so be sure to exchange it regularly to promote superior performance. Many 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 squander significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned spaces such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork preserves system efficiency and lowers energy costs.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Regular tune-ups are essential to keep your AC running efficiently. Hire a licensed specialist to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This proactive measure extends your HVAC system's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to uncover and fix potential issues before they become high-priced problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Rochester
At Strogen's Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering extensive AC services, which include quality installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Rochester. Our customers choose us again and again for our unrivaled 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.