As the hot summer months draw near, you may wonder how to keep your home cool and comfortable without your energy costs soaring. The secret lies in using your AC more efficiently. Follow these 12 simple recommendations and tactics to keep your air conditioning unit in optimal condition, minimize energy consumption and save money.
1. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Constantly altering the thermostat makes your AC work harder, elevating 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 get too warm, 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 maximum savings, set the temperature 7-10 degrees above your standard setting for at least eight hours per day. To help you “set it and forget it,” it might be a good idea to consider installing a programmable thermostat. This convenient upgrade allows you to set temperatures based on your everyday routines, automatically modifying 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 normally would. To minimize heat gain, close the curtains over your south- and west-facing windows in the afternoon. Window coverings with light-colored backings reflect sunlight the best.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Obstructed or closed air vents throw off your HVAC system’s supply/return air balance, decreasing efficiency and raising operating expenses. To prevent this, make sure to have at least 80 percent of your supply registers open and make certain no return vents are hindered by curtains, furniture or rugs.
5. Create Airflow with Fans
Using fans in combination with your air conditioning system circulates cool air more effectively, making your home feel more comfortable while hardly increasing energy consumption. Ceiling fans, in particular, create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to set the temperature higher without sacrificing comfort.
6. Get Rid of Hot and Humid Air
Cooking and showering generate heat and moisture. Run your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans during these activities to lower your home’s cooling burden. Additionally, make certain your clothes dryer vents to the outdoors to prevent hot, humid air from releasing into your home.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Elevated humidity levels cause your home to feel cool but clammy, tempting you to turn down the temperature. A dehumidifier takes away excessive moisture, making your home feel cooler and more comfortable while using 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 protects it in the afternoon for more effective heat transfer. If the unit gets direct sunlight at the hottest time 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 hinder airflow.
9. Save Your Chores for the Evening
Cooking, laundry and washing the dishes create indoor heat gain, making your AC work harder. Completing these tasks in the evening when temperatures cool down reduces the cooling load during the hottest time of the day and saves energy.
10. Replace the Air Filter
A filthy filter blocks 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 recommended replacement schedule for your product.
11. Seal and Insulate the Ductwork
Leaky, uninsulated ducts lose significant amounts of energy, especially if they run through unconditioned areas including the attic, crawl space or garage. Sealing and insulating your ductwork increases system efficiency and reduces energy spending.
12. Schedule Preventative AC Maintenance
Scheduled tune-ups are crucial to keep your AC running efficiently. Employ a certified professional to inspect, clean and service your system every spring. This preventative measure extends your HVAC system's life span, reduces energy consumption, and allows the technician to uncover and fix potential issues before they become high-priced problems.
Request Air Conditioning Service in Calgary
At A1 Chesney Service Experts, we pride ourselves on offering complete AC services, including installation, maintenance, repair and replacement in Calgary. 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.