As the hot summer 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 better. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and strategies to keep your AC in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
Constantly changing the thermostat makes your air conditioner 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 changing 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 turning down the temperature.
For maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees beyond your usual setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” consider installing a programmable thermostat. This convenient 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 not wasting energy when you’re not home.
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight forces your air conditioner to work harder than it normally would. To reduce 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.
Blocked or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and raising operating costs. To avoid this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and be sure no return vents are hindered by curtains, furniture or rugs.
Using fans along with your air conditioner circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while slightly 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.
Cooking and showering create heat and moisture. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling burden. Additionally, make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your house.
High humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to lower the temperature. A dehumidifier takes away 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 considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades the unit in the afternoon for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest hours 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.
Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes cause indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Completing these tasks later in the day when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
A clogged filter blocks airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it regularly to promote maximum performance. The majority of 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 such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork increases system efficiency and reduces energy costs.
Scheduled tune-ups are crucial to keep your air conditioning system running efficiently. Employ 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.
At Levy & Son Service Experts we pride ourselves on offering extensive AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Dallas. 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! Let our team help keep your home cool, comfortable and energy efficient this summer.
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