As the warmer months draw near, 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 more effectively. 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 changing the thermostat makes your AC work harder, increasing 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. Next, refrain from changing it. If you get overheated, remove a layer of clothing, spray water on your skin or turn on a fan to cool off without turning down the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For the most 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,” think about using a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to set 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.
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 when the temperature is the hottest. 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 air conditioning system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and increasing operating expenses. To stop this, keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are blocked by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Utilizing fans in conjunction with your air conditioning system 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 losing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering create heat and moisture. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce your home’s cooling workload. In addition, make sure your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your residence.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Significant humidity levels make your home feel cool but clammy, tempting you to decrease the temperature. A dehumidifier removes excessive 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 influences its operation dramatically. Installing it on your home’s north or east side protects the equipment during the hottest part of the day for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest hours of the day, consider planting a tree or getting 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 dishwashing create indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner work harder. Conducting energy-using activities like these at night when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A clogged filter limits airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it on a regular basis to promote superior performance. The majority of basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the ideal 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 such as the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork increases system efficiency and lowers energy spending.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Scheduled tune-ups are essential to keep your AC running efficiently. Use an accredited professional 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 deal with potential issues before they become high-priced problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Ocala
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive AC services, which include quality installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Ocala. Our customers choose us again and again for our unrivaled knowledge and dedication 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.