Energy costs eat up a large chunk of change; many people find that heating and cooling their homes can be one of their biggest monthly expenses. Finding ways to lower these costs can free up money for other pursuits this summer.
You don’t have to go out and purchase a brand-new air conditioning system in order to save some cash. You can use these tips and tricks to maximize the efficiency of your AC without spending much money at all. These suggestions will help keep your AC healthy and running smoothly.
1. Change or Clean the Filter
You’re probably already aware that your furnace has a filter. You likely change it every few months, particularly in the winter when it is being used on a daily basis. What you might not know is that your air conditioner also has a filter. It needs to be changed or cleaned regularly, depending on what kind of filter it has, in order for your AC to run in the most efficient manner.
Your AC filter needs to be checked regularly. When dust gets trapped in the filter, the system has to work harder to bring your home down to your desired temperature. Plus, the dust begins to float around your home if the filter is clogged, causing problems in those who suffer from allergies. Check and replace the filter every four to six weeks during the summer months.
2. Clean the Condenser
There are two components in a typical air conditioning system. The inside component is called the air handler. The part that resides outside the home on a concrete slab is the condenser, and it is the unit that most people think of when an AC is mentioned.
This condenser can get quite dirty when dirt, leaves, and other debris collects inside it. This most commonly happens during the fall, winter, and spring months if you fail to cover the machine with a weather tarp. Cleaning it out will make the condenser work in an easier, more efficient manner.
You can do this by first carefully shutting off the power to the unit. Consult an air conditioner technician if you don’t know how to do this as the electrical charge can be dangerous to work around. Unscrew the sides and top of the condenser and carefully empty it of debris and leaves before reassembling the unit.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Ceiling Fans
Many homeowners neglect the ceiling fans in their homes and opt to use the air conditioner system alone. This is a mistake since the two in tandem can effectively cool your home while using less energy than just the AC.
While ceiling fans don’t directly lower the temperature in a room, they help manage it. They can make a room that’s 80 degrees feel more cool and bearable. By making sure that your fan is spinning in a counterclockwise direction, you can help cool your home and manage the sticky feeling that comes with humidity.
With the air moving in a counterclockwise direction, downdrift of cool air is circulated through the room. This can help wick sweat away and make residents feel more comfortable without having to turn down the temperature on the thermostat.
4. Be Strategic With Thermostat Placement
Believe it or not, where your thermostat is installed in the home can make a big difference in energy costs. If you have any devices that emit heat near your thermostat, you’ll essentially trick it into thinking the home is warmer than it is. Examples of things that can have this impact include:
- Television sets
- A computer, router, or gaming set up
- The stove
- The refrigerator
- The washer and dryer
If your thermostat thinks it’s 5 degrees warmer in the home than it actually is because of these heat-producing items near your thermostat, your AC system will work hard to adjust. This can lead to the system constantly running and eating up energy.
5. Check and Unblock Vents
Blocked vents are a common but often overlooked cause of poor heating or cooling in the home. If vents are blocked in some way, air can’t freely flow through the room and throughout the home.
Do a quick inspection of your home. Go through every room and check that each vent is uncovered and that air is flowing freely from it. Check under furniture and rearrange the room accordingly, if needed. Proper airflow throughout the home should allow your AC to slow down and work at a more leisurely pace.
6. Keep the Heat Out
There are a lot of ways that heat can seep into your home, making your system run constantly to keep things cool. Running large appliances like the dryer, dishwasher, or oven during the day can create a lot of heat and energy. Stick to running these after the sun goes down if at all possible.
Sunlight seeping in through windows is another source of hidden heat in the home. You can rectify this by purchasing blackout curtains and installing them in the rooms that see the most use throughout the day. This simple change can keep rooms cooler, especially throughout the morning when the heat of the day is just beginning.
7. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Setting the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher when you leave for work every morning is the best way to make the most out of your AC. This isn’t always the easiest thing to remember, however. By purchasing and installing a programmable thermostat, you can reap these energy and cost savings without having the hassle of resetting the thermostat multiple times a day.
You can use these tools in a variety of ways. They can be set to certain schedules that reflect when you’re out of the home and when you’re planning on slipping beneath the covers for the night. You can look up a programmable thermostat schedule for summer to get yourself started.
To take your energy efficiency to the next level, consider a smart thermostat. Not only can they be programmed to reflect your schedule, but they can also be controlled remotely. If you’re suddenly called away or are going to be out longer than you’re expecting, you can adjust the thermostat from your smartphone.
8. Have Your AC System Professionally Serviced
Annual maintenance work is important for your entire HVAC system, including your air conditioner. Many reputable HVAC companies offer yearly maintenance packages that you can purchase for a decent price. This maintenance package will include a full inspection of your system for potential problems. The units will be fully cleaned, and any small parts that need to be replaced will be ordered. Regular maintenance by a trained HVAC professional, along with a fully efficient system, helps you save money overall.
At Green Energy Mechanical Inc, we provide Canton, MA, and the surrounding areas with the best in green energy services. From duct sealing and cleaning to programmable thermostat installation and geothermal flooring solutions, we have a bit of everything. If you’re interested in learning more about our services, call us and schedule an appointment today!