With the dog days of summer ahead of us, it’s no surprise that many homeowners out there spend about 25 to 30 percent of their energy consumption on air conditioning. In most households, people use more energy to run their air conditioning units than any other home appliance including water heaters and refrigerators. With so much energy that is being consumed in cooling your home, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your air conditioning systems.
Tip 1: Check Your Thermostat Setting
When coming home from work after a long commute, the first thing that you would want to do is to turn on your AC and run it on full blast. However, according to experts, setting your thermostat to a colder setting instead of normal will not actually help cool your home faster. In reality, doing so will only make your air conditioning unit work harder, costing your skyrocketing bills and unnecessary repairs down the road.
While you may be tempted to set your thermostat at a low 72 degrees during warm weather, it is recommended that you keep its setting at a higher temperature. The closer your indoor temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the lower your energy bill will be.
In order to get the most of your AC unit and save on your electricity bill, experts suggest that you set your system’s thermostat to 78 degrees when you get home from work and 80+ when you are gone during the summer months. Also, make sure your appliances such as TVs, computers and lamps are nowhere near your thermostat. The heat generated by these appliances can raise the temperature near the thermostat, which can then cause your unit to work harder than need.
Tip 2: Turn On Your Ceiling Fan
If you think 78 degrees is too warm, then there is a cost-efficient solution for that. Simply turn on the ceiling fan inside the room and this will help cool you down. Apart from creating a wind-chill effect against your skin, fans also help distribute your air conditioning’s cool air evenly. As a result, the room will feel anywhere between four degrees and six degrees cooler than the actual room temperature.
Although ceiling fans use electricity, they actually use less energy than your air conditioning system. Using fans can help resist the urge to turn down your thermostat’s temperature, thus allowing you to save money down the road. When utilizing your ceiling fan just remember to turn it off before you leave the room since it doesn’t really cool the air in your home.
Tip 3: Seal the Windows
Especially during the summer, you definitely have to keep every bit of the cool air inside your home. You don’t actually have to run your AC on full blast in order to do this. All you have to do is seal air leaks found in your doors and windows and add insulation to your basement and attic, if your home has them. This quick and cost-efficient project will help you save on your electricity bill for up to 10 percent.
Tip 4: Install Drapes and Blinds
Direct sunlight streaming into your home is the last thing you want while trying to make the most of your summer months. In order to keep your place from heating up, install some blinds and thick drapes to help block the sun’s rays and reduce the amount of heat that is entering your home.
Keeping your windows closed with blinds installed will actually reduce the amount of heat that is coming into your house. Consequently, this will give your air conditioning system a much-needed break.
Tip 5: Seal the Ducts
About 20 percent of air that is passing through a duct system is actually lost because of poorly connected cuts, holes and leaks. Over time, duct joints become loose, creating small gaps in the system. Now in order to prevent loss of cool air as well as improve the air’s movement in the duct system, it is crucial that you seal and insulate the ducts. Doing so will save you up to 10 percent annually on your energy bill.
Tip 6: Schedule a Routine AC Maintenance
If you are starting to get concerned about your skyrocketing bill, it is time that you considering getting help from a professional. Energy Star suggests that you hire a certified AC technician who can tune up your air conditioning system at least once a year. Routine maintenance will help keep your equipment running efficiently all year round.
Tip 7: Clean or Replace Your Air Filters
According to experts, dirt and neglect are the top causes of AC’s failure. In order to prevent your air conditioner from breaking down, you need to keep it clean by changing the air filters regularly. During warmer months, make sure to change the filters at least once in every two months. Dirt, dust and other debris can prevent the air from flowing and this will make your unit work harder than needed.