As the hot summer months get closer, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without skyrocking your utility bills. The secret lies in using your air conditioner more effectively. Follow these 12 simple tips and strategies to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, reduce energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Repeatedly altering the thermostat makes your air conditioner work harder, increasing energy consumption and causing excessive wear and tear. To optimize efficiency, set the temperature at a comfortable level—preferably around 78 degrees F (25 degrees C)—when you’re inside the residence. Next, 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 changing the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees beyond your typical 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 schedule temperatures based on your day-to-day routines, automatically modifying the temperature to create a comfortable home when you’re there and not wasting energy when you’re out.
3. Keep the Curtains Closed
Solar heat gain from direct sunlight makes your AC run longer than it really should. 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
Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and raising operating costs. To stop this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are obstructed by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Running fans in conjunction with your HVAC system circulates cool air more effectively, 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 losing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering create heat and dampness. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to lower your home’s cooling load. Additionally, ensure that your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your residence.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
High humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to lower the temperature. A dehumidifier takes out excessive moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while using a lot less electricity than operating the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location affects its performance significantly. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades the unit 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 getting a screen to shade it. Just be sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t hinder airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and dishwashing create indoor heat gain, making your AC work harder. Doing these activities later in the day when temperatures are cooler reduces the cooling load during the hottest part of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A dirty filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so be sure to exchange it routinely to promote superior performance. Many basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but its best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the ideal 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 like the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork preserves system efficiency and reduces energy spending.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Scheduled tune-ups are recommended to keep your air conditioner running properly. Hire an accredited specialist to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This precautionary measure extends your HVAC system's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and address potential issues before they become costly problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Knoxville
At R & M Climate Control Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Knoxville. Our customers choose us again and again for our unrivaled 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.