When you own a house, you want to make the best possible use of your air conditioner so that it’s working well, keeping you cool, and costing you as little as possible. Unfortunately, there are a lot of ways that you can lose energy throughout your home. On the other hand, there are many things you can do to make the most of your air conditioner. A few tips could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your cooling costs throughout the course of the summer. The good news is that you’ll be cooler in the process while protecting your HVAC system from even larger repairs in the process.
Get an Updated Thermostat
One of the first things that you can do to optimize your air conditioner is to invest in a good thermostat. There’s no reason to use a thermostat that doesn’t work very well as thermostat technology has come so far in the last couple of decades. You can save a ton of money by investing in a thermostat with smart features. You’ll love how easy it is to program your thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can ensure your home is cool by the time you get home. In addition, you will still be able to save money by keeping your air conditioner off while you’re away at work. You’ll also love that you can adjust your thermostat settings from your phone. For example, if you have pets at home and the weather gets warmer by mid-afternoon, you can turn the air on so that your pets at home are safe and comfortable.
Add Sealings Around Windows and Doors
Another way that you can get the most out of your air conditioner is to optimize the sealings around the windows and doors. If you’re losing a lot of cooling benefits through your windows and doors because they’re not properly sealed, you could be throwing thousands of dollars literally out the window over the course of a summer. Investing in weather stripping is one of the best ways to save money on your cooling costs throughout the summer.
Be Smart About When Your Windows Are Opened
Having your windows open when it’s hot outside and your air conditioner is running is obviously a good way to waste energy, but there are times when it’s actually beneficial to have your windows open to cool down the house. For example, the night is often a great time of the day to open all of the windows so that you can enjoy a cool breeze. While there are nights when the air is too warm, many nights are cool and dry enough that you’ll be able to air out a moderately warm house. Otherwise, you might choose to use this method if your home is hot. This might happen if you had the air off because you were out of town and you just returned.
Don’t Cook Inside
When it’s really hot outside, don’t heat up the house by turning your oven or stove on. Instead, grill outside under an awning or other type of covering so that you can keep the heat outside. You can also choose to make meals that don’t need to be cooked, such as salads and sandwiches.
Put up Some Heavy Curtains
You should also think about investing in some thick curtains for when the sun streams directly through the windows. It might seem like it’s fairly simple to keep your home cool, and you might think that it’s not going to be that expensive to have sunlight streaming into your living room, but it can actually cause your utility bills to go up quite a bit. Sunlight can heat up a room quickly. However, it’s very simple and cost-effective to put up some blackout curtains or even just heavy drapes to keep the sunlight out during the hottest part of the day.
Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced
If you’re struggling with finding ways to keep your cooling costs down, you should have your unit serviced on occasion. This can save you a lot of money in terms of having fewer problems over the course of several years. In addition, your air conditioner will also be more efficient. In fact, running your air conditioner will probably cost less every summer if you get your air conditioner serviced.
Switch the Direction of the Fans
You’ll also love the benefits of switching the direction of the fans in the summer. You might not have known that the direction that the blades are turning in the winter should be the opposite of the direction that they turn in the summer. So, if the fan blades are set to spin clockwise, change their direction to counterclockwise. This will push the cool air down and help circulate the air. This is in contrast to the clockwise direction that you should have your fan going in the winter, which is designed to create an updraft that will redistribute the warm air that’s collecting near the ceiling. Additionally, fan blades should be set to at least 12 degrees to create enough air movement but not 16 degrees, which will most likely blow loose papers around.
Keep the Condenser Clean
Cleaning the condenser can improve its overall efficiency and protect it from unnecessary wear. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can become lodged in the condenser, which can restrict airflow and cause larger problems later down the line. You can clean a lot of this debris out by hand. Spraying water from a garden hose will further dislodge unwanted debris.
Run Your Air Conditioner Consistently
You might be tempted to leave the air conditioner off for as long as you can handle it to save on cooling costs, but this strategy often backfires. When you finally turn the air conditioner on, it has to work even harder to get rid of the humidity and heat to bring your house to a more comfortable temperature. If you’re trying to cut cooling costs and are willing to keep your home a little on the warm side, a better strategy is to set it at 78 degrees and keep it there consistently. With this strategy, you won’t be using a ton on cooling costs, but you’ll be able to enjoy a consistent temperature that you can live with.
Get a New Air Filter
You probably already know the importance of this step, but a reminder always helps. Having a clean filter in your HVAC system can save you energy, and it cuts down on the pollen, dust, and other allergens that are floating around in the air. Your HVAC system doesn’t just heat and cool your house, it’s also responsible for cleaning the air. Replace the filter about once every three months or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you’re looking for some ways to get the most out of your air conditioner, you want to maximize the cooling effects while minimizing wear on your air conditioner and overall energy costs. For help with maintaining your air conditioner and your other heating and cooling needs, contact us at Summit Heating & A/C in Denver, CO. We provide heating, cooling, plumbing, and indoor air quality services.