Summer is in full swing, and air conditioning systems are working overtime across the country. But increased usage also comes with an increased energy bill. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to maximize your AC’s cooling while minimizing the cost…
Manual Thermostat Adjustment
Keep your home at a comfortably cool temperature while you’re there, but raise the temperature when you’re out, or at night when ambient temperatures are cooler.
Even simple adjustments like this can save you up to 15% of your energy bill during the summer.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
If manual adjustment is too much effort for you, install a smart thermostat.
Wi-Fi enabled thermostats monitor the temperature of your home and adjust your air conditioning accordingly. During the summer months, you can set the smart thermostat to a comfortable temperature to be maintained all day, or program it to turn on the AC an hour before you get home from work. The best feature of a Wi-Fi thermostat is that you can connect to it remotely via your mobile device, and can thus manage the temperature settings from afar.
Overall, a smart thermostat can save you money by automatically managing your temperature settings for you.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Much of the heat in your home is caused by direct sunlight. This external heat pours in through windows, and can be absorbed by the walls of your home (especially if it’s made of brick).
There are two simple measures you can take to minimize the heat caused by sunlight. The first is to invest in blinds, curtains, or screens that block direct sunlight from entering your home. The second is to plant trees and shrubs around the exterior of the house, which absorb the sun’s energy and heat, and provide shade for your home.
Both of these methods will keep your home cooler, requiring less work from your AC.
Circulating air throughout your home can help to maintain a cooler temperature. You can set up a few free-standing fans to direct air down corridors, or from one room to another. Air flowing freely through your house will prevent stuffy, hot air from accumulating indoors.
If it’s not too hot outside, you can also install a window fan, or simply place a free-standing fan next to an open window, to pull in cooler air from outside. This is especially useful at night when temperatures drop, and can minimize how much you need to use you air conditioner overnight. Bringing in outside air can also reduce indoor air pollutants and help you maintain healthy indoor air quality.
Get Your Air Ducts Checked
Old or improperly installed ducts often leak air, which is a serious drain on your air conditioner and your energy costs. Dirty ducts and filters can also impede proper air-flow, and result in reduced energy efficiency.
Consult your local air conditioning professional to have your ducts and filters inspected, and fixed or replaced if necessary. Not only will clean ducts and filters protect you and your family from harmful air pollutants, but they’ll keep your home cooler by increasing air flow.
Much like your ductwork and filters, your air conditioner should undergo routine maintenance inspections once or twice a year. Maintenance ensures that all the AC’s components are working properly and at maximum efficiency.
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