As the warmer months draw near, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your air conditioning unit better. Follow these 12 simple ideas and techniques to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Constantly altering 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 in the house. After that, refrain from touching 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 the most 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 simple upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your everyday routines, automatically adjusting the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and not wasting energy when you’re away.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your AC run longer than it normally would. To decrease heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. 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 air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing 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 blocked by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Using fans along with your air conditioning system circulates cool air more, 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, permitting you to set the temperature higher without losing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering create heat and humidity. Turn on your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to decrease your home’s cooling workload. Additionally, make certain your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your residence.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Elevated humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier takes out unwanted moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while consuming substantially less electricity than running 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 part of the day, consider planting a tree or installing 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 create indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Doing these activities in the evening when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest hours of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A filthy filter blocks airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it routinely to promote superior performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but its best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct 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 areas such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork maintains system efficiency and brings down energy costs.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Routine tune-ups are essential to keep your air conditioning system running properly. 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 find and deal with potential issues before they become costly problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Mobile
At Climate Control Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive AC services, which include quality installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Mobile. Our customers choose us again and again for our unmatched expertise 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.