Help Your AC Cool Better With These TipsPublished on: July 9, 2014
Summertime means outdoor fun with friends and loved ones, but summer cooling costs can put a damper on even the best of times. Don’t let high utility bills spoil your summer hijinks. Instead, keep air conditioning bills manageable by following these easy tips.
Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance
The simplest way to increase air conditioning efficiency is to schedule air conditioner maintenance every year. The best time to have your unit serviced is just before the warm weather kicks in. Your HVAC technician will thoroughly clean and inspect your cooling unit, preparing it for optimal performance. Potential problems can be corrected before they cause trouble, and your system will be primed to deliver maximum indoor cooling comfort.
Keep Your Air Filters Clean
Air conditioning filters are designed to trap dust, debris, pet dander and airborne contaminants that can pollute your indoor air and interfere with efficient AC operation. Most air conditioning filters should be cleaned or changed monthly, but households with pets may need to change filters more often.
Close Curtains and Shades
Sunshine can raise indoor temperatures by up to 45 percent. Light-colored curtains or window shades can deflect these intense rays and keep your indoor space significantly cooler. Hang shades as close to the windows as possible, and keep them closed all day. This helps to keep outdoor heat from radiating indoors. Insulated window treatments will also help to keep indoor temps cool, and in the winter, they’ll help to keep your home warm.
Have Your Duct Work Sealed
A central cooling system can lose up to 20 percent of the cooled air it produces through cracks and leaks in duct work. Ducts should be cleaned and inspected for leaks every few years. Clogged and dirty ducts can impede the efficiency of your air conditioner, so having them cleaned can improve AC performance. An additional benefit of duct cleaning is improved indoor air quality.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can cut summertime cooling costs by up to ten percent when you raise thermostat settings by just a few degrees. Set the thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature when you are home, and program the AC to reduce indoor cooling automatically whenever you are away.
Install and Use Ceiling and Circulating Fans
Using fans with your AC can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent. Although circulating fans don’t actually cool indoor spaces, they do provide a “wind-chill effect” that can make you feel up to five degrees cooler. Besides providing a breeze, ceiling fans distribute cooled air more evenly throughout an indoor space. The upshot is that you’ll feel cooler, so you can generally raise the thermostat setting by up to five degrees without experiencing discomfort.
Many homeowners find an indoor energy assessment helpful when it comes to cutting cooling costs. At AC Southeast®, you can quickly find a professional HVAC contractor in your area who can help you lower cooling bills while enjoying greater indoor comfort. AC Southeast® contractors also offer free in-home consultations to help homeowners determine what they could save on cooling costs with a Bryant or Carrier AC replacement.