As the warmer 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 ideas and techniques to keep your HVAC system in optimal condition, decrease energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Repeatedly adjusting the thermostat makes your air conditioner work harder, raising 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 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 turning down the temperature.
2. Set the Temperature Back When You’re Away
For the most savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees higher than your standard setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” consider using a programmable thermostat. This easy upgrade allows you to program temperatures based on your everyday routines, automatically changing 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 forces your air conditioner to work harder than it has to. To reduce 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 avoid this, always keep at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and ensure that no return vents are hindered by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Running fans along with your HVAC system circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while hardly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, specifically, 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 generate heat and moisture. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to reduce 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.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Elevated humidity levels results in your home feeling cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier takes out excessive moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while consuming significantly less electricity than operating the air conditioner.
8. Install Your Outdoor AC Unit in the Shade
The outdoor unit’s location affects its effectiveness considerably. Installing it on your home’s north or east side shades it 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 make sure that any plant or structure you add doesn’t impede airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and dishwashing cause indoor heat gain, making your air conditioner 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 dirty filter blocks airflow and increases energy consumption, so replace it on a regular basis to promote superior performance. Most basic filters should be replaced every 30 to 90 days, but check 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 spots in your home 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
Scheduled tune-ups are essential to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Employ a licensed technician to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This proactive measure extends your air conditioner's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to find and fix potential issues before they become high-priced problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Memphis
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive AC services, such as installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Memphis. Our customers choose us again and again for our unrivaled knowledge and devotion 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.