Hot, sticky weather is one of the downsides of late summer that can last well into the fall, and running your home’s air conditioning often results in high energy bills. Fortunately, by following a few green tips, you and your family can enjoy a cool house without wasting energy or stretching the household budget. Avoiding late summer heat is a simple matter using air conditioning wisely and keeping the cool air in and the heat out of your home.
One of the best green tips for using air conditioning effectively is to install a programmable thermostat, which cools the house to a comfortable temperature when the family most needs it. With a programmable thermostat, the air conditioning can be set to a lower temperature during morning and evenings when most people are home, and at a higher temperature during the main part of the day when the house is often empty.
Air Conditioning Temperatures
A common misconception about air conditioning units is that setting the temperature very low cools a room quickly. In fact, low-temperature settings on air conditioners don’t increase the speed that the room cools, but they do increase energy costs. Most people are comfortable at 78 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can experiment to find what temperature suits your family best. Higher temperature settings use less energy.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
A poorly maintained air conditioning unit requires more energy to achieve the same reduction in indoor temperatures as a well-maintained unit. Arrange regular services for your unit, including filter changes and coil cleaning. If your air conditioning system is older than 10 years, it’s time to consider an upgrade. Modern HVAC systems are often more energy efficient and more effective at cooling the home than older models.
Using fans in tandem with air conditioners boosts cooling power. Ceiling fans and portable fans cost little to run but move the cool air around the room. Consequently, you can set your air conditioner at a higher temperature and achieve the same cooling effect.
Sealing Gaps and Cracks
Just as heat can escape through gaps and cracks during winter, cool air leaves the home through the same routes. As a result, air conditioners must work harder and use more energy to keep indoor temperatures down. Seal gaps around door frames and windows with silicone caulk, and tape up leaks in HVAC ductwork.
Making the best use of your air conditioning unit means you don’t have to sacrifice your peace of mind to keep your home cool and comfortable. Contact a professional contractor for more advice about how you can improve the efficiency of your air conditioning.