Summers can be brutal. When the temperatures outside start to hit the 90’s, it feels SO GOOD to come into a nice cool home. The bad news is that the cost of maintaining that cool temperature inside can make your head spin. When you get your next electric, instead of wringing your hands or crying out, learn how to increase the efficiency of your air conditioning system to cut that electric bill down to size.
Here are 12 helpful suggestions for ways you can help your air conditioning system to cope with the heat and save some money in the process.
You know that you have to clean your house regularly. Sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and such are jobs we don’t love, but we know they have to be done. In regard to your power bill, you can save some kilowatts by cleaning the components of your AC.
First, change the air filter. You should do this at least once a month, and don’t skimp by buying the cheapest filters you can find. A quality air filter will pay for itself by saving electricity and cutting down on the dust and dirt your AC can blow around your home.
Next, vacuum all of the air ducts. This will allow the air to flow more freely and will help that air filter we just talked about.
Go into the garage, or wherever your air handler is, and check the drain line. Keeping that clean will also adversely affect the operation of your AC.
Now you should go outside and clean the condenser unit. Check to make sure there are no shrubs or other yard debris blocking the condenser, as that can reduce efficiency by causing the condenser to overheat.
If you’re not comfortable with cleaning the components of your air conditioning system, have a professional come out and do it for you. You might even watch to learn how to do it yourself next time!
- Keep the Sun Out of your House
Go inside and close all of your drapes or blinds. Even better, install screens or reflective film on your windows, especially those facing the south side of your house. A more dramatic but also more expensive fix would be to install new energy efficient windows.
- Seal It Up
Close your windows and doors, and check to see if the seals around them are letting cool air escape. If you see that they are, replace the seals and weather stripping.
- Make Some Breezes
Ceiling fans as well as stationary fans can be used to circulate the air in your home. They create a wind chill effect and with them running, you will feel cooler and can be comfortable at a higher indoor temperature.
- Crank it Up
A sure-fire way to save on your air conditioning bill is to simply raise the temperature setting on the thermostat. You should also clean your thermostat from time to time, as a dirty or dusty thermostat may not work correctly. Better yet, install a new programmable thermostat that will raise the temperature when no one is home and lower it when you return. Some of these thermostats can even be controlled remotely with your tablet or smart phone.
- Time Your Laundry and Cooking
Try not to use your oven or clothes dryer during the hottest parts of the day. One way to help is to cook out more during the summer, and maybe even install an old fashioned clothesline in your back yard!
- Made in the Shade
This is a longer term way to help the situation, but plant some shade trees close to the house, especially on the southern facing side of the home and give some shade to the outside condenser unit as well.
- Keep Heat Producers Away from the Thermostat
Electrical appliances such as lamps, TVs, and computers produce heat, and if you can move them away from your thermostat, your AC system will cycle on and off less frequently.
If the ducts in your system aren’t properly insulated, they will be susceptible to temperature, humidity, and condensation than can adversely affect your AC’s efficiency.
- Zone Defence
There may be areas in your home that are not used as frequently as others, so why keep them cool? You may want to consider installing a zoned HVAC system. A zoned HVAC systems consists of a series of dampers in your ductwork controlled by a thermostat or multiple thermostats. Your home can be divided into zones, and when more or less cooling is needed in a particular zone, the dampers will increase or decrease the air flow to those zones.
- Get Down
If you have a basement, you’ll know that the air down there is cooler than the rest of the house, so perhaps it’s time to spend more time down there in the man cave (or woman cave).
- Overall System Efficiency
It’s never a bad idea to have your AC system checked regularly by a professional. The most efficient systems are those that are regularly maintained. If your system is more than ten years old, it may be time to replace it with a more efficient unit.
By following these tips, you can significantly improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system and by doing so, lower your power bills.
For help with any of your air conditioning needs, please contact our staff of highly trained HVAC professionals at Triple T Plumbing, Heating and Air.
Established in 1974, we are a family-owned and operated business dedicated to serving our community in the area of heating and air conditioning, air quality services, and plumbing. With a commitment to customer satisfaction and over 40 years of hands-on experience, our team can be trusted with virtually any service challenge. Visit our website, or contact us at 801-307-4835 in Utah County or 435-258-9864 in Washington County.