Home heating and/or cooling, depending on where you live, are your largest home energy consumption activities. Here is a small list of tips to reduce your energy consumption via central air conditioning. You may be able certainly employ several of them to help with cost.
A house that is slightly cooler than the outside feels far more comfortable than you might think. When it’s 100 degrees outside there is no need to try to create a 60-degree environment inside; 77 or 78 degrees Fahrenheit is only slightly above ideal room temperature and can be plenty comfortable when it’s far hotter outside. Your AC system will not need to work as hard to maintain that kind of temperature.
- Use Digital Thermostats– they are more accurate and can be programmable to set different temperatures for certain times of the day.
- Dial down your thermometer a couple degrees at night– cooler evening temps make for a better sleeping environment and it easier for your system to bring temperatures down a bit more in the cool night air.
- Dial it up a few more degrees for times of the day when there is usually nobody home.A cold house does not keep you cool if you’re not there.
- Don’t position heat-producing appliances, such as televisions or lamps, near the thermostat. The added heat can fool your thermostat, causing the unit to run longer than necessary.
CRANKING YOUR THERMOSTAT WAY DOWN DOES NOT SPEED UP HOW FAST YOUR HOUSE COOLS DOWN!!
AC units only have two settings – off and on. When your thermostat detects your house has warmed too far past your setting the AC unit kicks in and will run until the thermostat detects the house has cooled enough. Cranking it farther than usual means it just runs the same but probably for longer since you’ll tend to forget to turn it back up, meaning you’ve let it run too long and consumed more energy than you needed too.
AC MAINTENANCE ~ CHECK OUT OUR PLATINUM PLANS
The central AC unit is the largest energy draw. Old and poorly maintained equipment draws far more energy.
- Check the air filters on your AC system– replace them on schedule. Dirty and clogged filters cause the system to work harder, using more energy.
- Keep your air conditioner out of the sun– install on shady side of house or at least have it protected by shrubs or a partial wall or fence.
- Schedule a yearly maintenance with your HVAC contractor to ensure your units are running at peak efficiency.
REDUCE SUN HEAT INPUTS
The sun will heat any object it shines upon and that includes the inside of your home. These tips will help reduce solar heating as well as save your flooring and furniture from fading.
- Close curtains on windows facing the sun
- Install thermal liners on your curtains
- Install window tinting on sun facing windows
- Plant trees and shrubs around your house
- Paint your house a lighter color
- Make sure your attic is properly ventilated
KEEP THE AIR FLOWING
- Use fans
- Turn fans off when you’re not in the room.
- Re-Arrange your furniture ~ make sure chairs and sofas are not blocking air flow from your HVAC vents.
INSULATE AND PLUG AIR LEAKS AROUND YOUR HOME
Trap frigid air inside as much as possible. Letting it leak outdoors mean you must cool more of it to replace those frigid air losses.
- Weather-strip, seal, and caulk ~ leaky doors and windows and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers.
- Seal air ducts ~ leaky ducts mean you push less cool air to where you need it. Have your AC contractor test and seal your duct work.
- Increase attic insulation ~ insulate your attic to at least R-30.
- Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans sparingly ~ you’re pumping out your cool air.
If you follow many of the tips in this article you will certainly reduce your energy consumption and save money. Depending on where you live and the size of your home those savings could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. A nice chunk of change for most anybody. Be careful though not to simply use the money you save to buy more energy consuming devices or turn your AC down a few degrees thinking you can now be cooler while spending the same as you did before.