During the dog days of summer, all you want is to feel a blast of cool air on your face when you walk indoors. If your air conditioner isn’t working efficiently, you won’t get that sweet relief from the summer heat. Instead, you’ll end up paying more on your bills for insufficient cooling.
To prevent high costs and inefficient cooling, the most important thing to do is schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioner — ideally before the hottest months of the year. Follow these tips for AC use in summer to keep your house cool and energy-efficient.
Tips to Maximize Air Conditioner Use
Air conditioners are powerful machines, but they can be sensitive to the environment. Neglected minor maintenance tasks can build up to cause more issues and repairs. Get ahead of any possible problems this summer by implementing these tips to maximize your summer AC use:
1. Close Windows and Doors
Ensure all windows and doors in your home close and latch properly. Air can escape through the smallest openings, so even if you’re keeping your windows and doors shut as much as possible, leaks and cracks can impact your air conditioning system’s efficiency. Caulk, weatherstripping and insulation can all help keep your home more efficient in the summer and winter.
2. Install Window Coverings or Shades
If you don’t have the benefit of big trees shading your home, your house could be in full sun from dawn until dusk. Windows are vulnerable places where your home can absorb heat. You can install window coverings such as shades over your windows to provide extra protection from the sun and keep heat from entering your home. Another option is window tints that block heat and light from entering through the windows.
3. Use the Thermostat Efficiently
A programmable thermostat is one of the best things to increase efficiency in AC use this summer. With these thermostats, you can program certain temperature settings throughout the day so your AC doesn’t have to work as hard for all 24 hours. Having the temperature set at as high as is comfortable can save you money and your HVAC system undue stress.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save 10% on their cooling costs by setting their thermostat 7-10 degrees hotter for 8 hours per day. So, while you’re at work, bump up the temperature in your home so your AC unit isn’t cooling an empty house. If you have pets and are worried about their comfort during the day, keep a fan on so they can cool themselves when they need it.
4. Turn on an Additional Fan
Remember this mantra — fans cool people, not rooms. To save energy in your home, turn off fans when you leave the room since they don’t function to cool off rooms. However, while you’re home, it can be a great idea to add extra movement in the air. Having a fan on will help the air feel cooler on your skin so you won’t have to turn down the AC any more than necessary. This strategy is especially great for when you’re cooking in the kitchen.
5. Perform General Maintenance
There are two primary AC maintenance services you can perform yourself — changing the filters and clearing the area around the unit. Regular filter changes can keep your AC unit running efficiently in summer because a clogged or dirty filter can impede air flow within the unit, and therefore take more energy to cool your home.
Clearing the area around your unit is also vital as dirt and debris can collect on the coils, preventing them from absorbing heat. Regularly check that your coils are clean and clear foliage and other obstructions at least 2 feet away from the unit.
6. Get Regular HVAC Service
The most important tip to ensure your AC runs smoothly all summer is to invest in regular maintenance. Calling a technician only when something is wrong could mean more expensive repairs and possibly a full replacement sooner than you want. HVAC technicians can check a host of essential AC components, including:
- Accuracy of the thermostat
- Refrigerant levels
- Possible leaks
- Electrical components
- Motors and belts
Preventive maintenance can keep your AC running smoothly during the times you need it most. A technician can catch and reverse minor issues before they become expensive fixes.
7. Replace Old Units With More Efficient Models
If your AC unit is old and doesn’t run as efficiently as newer models, replace it. Keeping an old unit running will only result in more repairs and higher energy bills. New AC models can last between 10 and 15 years with better energy efficiency, so purchasing one can be an excellent investment in your future.
Additionally, by getting regular maintenance, you don’t have to be surprised by a sudden AC replacement. A professional HVAC technician can alert you to the upcoming expense and guide you in choosing the right unit for your home.
Benefits of Saving Air Conditioner Energy
There are three essential benefits of maximizing your summer air conditioning use — cost, comfort and conservation. Maintaining your AC efficiency can help save you money and make your home more comfortable and environmentally friendly.
Having an efficient AC unit installed might be an expensive investment, but it can save money on air conditioning costs. If you’re on a budget, buying a new AC may seem like a huge cost without a return — however, a high-efficiency unit can save you anywhere from 20%-40% on annual energy costs.
Having an efficient AC unit that you maintain properly will keep you comfortable in your home for a long time. If you have leaks where cool air can escape, your AC will be working overtime and you might still be too hot in your home. Insulating your house and adding a programmable thermostat can increase your comfort by making sure your AC is at peak performance when you need it and can take a break when you don’t.
By reducing your home’s energy expenditure, optimizing your air conditioning efficiency can make your home greener. Air conditioning and other energy-using appliances can have costly effects on the environment, but maintaining or replacing inefficient AC units means you’re doing your part to conserve our natural resources.
Choose Drake’s Construction & Restoration for All Your HVAC Needs
Drake’s Construction & Restoration provides high-quality maintenance, repair and replacement services for air conditioners in Parkersburg, West Virginia. If your AC unit is old or needs maintenance, one of our professional HVAC technicians can evaluate and repair your AC within 24 hours. We offer complete replacement and installation services, as well as 24-hour emergency maintenance.
Our team will give you a detailed estimate before beginning any project, and we offer service packages to fit your lifestyle and budget. Contact us for a free estimate, or get in touch with one of our team members at 304-485-4357.