How To Get The Highest Efficiency From Your AC
Those cool Summers in your home may be relaxing, all thanks to your reliable AC system. But once you receive your next monthly electricity bill – stop the presses!
It’s hard to avoid a higher utility charge, especially when you practically use your air conditioner all the time. After all, the US Department of Energy states that 6% of electricity consumption is attributed to air conditioning, costing American households a whopping 29 Billion dollars annually in utility expenses. To put it from an individual perspective, you will pay almost 4 dollars a day for operating your AC unit. Hence, the price of your comfort roughly becomes 115 dollars per month, which can be a lot.
But what if we tell you that there are ways you can still reduce your electricity bills even if you continue to use your AC regularly? All it takes is some conscious effort on your part which can translate into a significant amount in savings as a whole. You’re welcome!
Raise your thermostat
Let’s hope you’re no Eskimo and can keep your cool even at slightly higher temperatures. Cranking up your thermostat is the best way to avoid a bill shock. In fact, your thermostat level is inversely proportional to your energy consumption such that the lower your set room temperature is, the higher the cost will be. Also use the economy mode setting, if there is one. With a bit of sacrifice, you will enjoy energy savings by raising your thermostat just by a few degrees.
Another way to save on energy costs is to install a smart, programmable thermostat that is integrated to your AC system. It allows you to manipulate your AC by performing a number of functions automatically, one of which is turning it on only when there are people in the covered area.
Most smart thermostats do not only regulate your home temperature but also adjust it on their own according to how they learn behavior patterns of the occupants. This makes for a more sensible and efficient cooling operation. You can even override its program by adjusting the thermostat remotely using your smartphone. This is useful when you break your routine and decide to come home earlier, which will enable you to “pre-cool” your home so it is the right temperature upon your arrival.
Give it a proper maintenance
Your AC needs regular checkups like us, too. An annual tune-up is recommended as preventive maintenance to ensure your AC is at its optimum performance. This includes cleaning of coils, blades, and other parts that contribute to maximizing energy efficiency that ultimately results in substantial savings on cooling costs.
Shade your windows
While natural light may help you turn on your lightbulb much less, it is recommended to close your window curtains, when the space is unoccupied or it has an orientation towards the east or west. Direct sunlight shining through the window or any opening will not only raise your indoor temperature, but also overwork your AC in case you need to power it on during the day. On the other hand, it is best to open up your drapes at night to facilitate cooling to enable heat to seep out the windows.
You might want to shade your AC from the outside as well, although it’s not always an option. In any case, you can perhaps add some landscaping nearby to aid your AC in cooling your home. It also creates a shade of sorts that will put the sun rays at bay. You can take it up a notch by installing low emissivity glass windows which aims to minimize UV rays without compromising light that enters your space.
Have insulated ductwork in place
Ductwork consists of multiple tubes that are hidden beneath walls, ceilings and floors which carry air from your centralized AC to the different areas of your home. In this setup, you will realize that it’s ductwork runs along regular pathways that have no insulation. As a result, the cool air that travels inside may be hampered by its surrounding warm temperatures. Modern HVAC makes use of fibrous glass duct systems that promote energy conservation and efficient delivery of conditioned air for optimal comfort. However, leaks may still happen even with insulated ductwork which mean an additional cost to your cumbersome power bills. So it is vital to not only insulate your ducts but also to seal any holes or leaks by using proper sealants such as a UL 181-rated sealing tape.
Operate other home appliances in a timely manner
We have discussed how the presence of heat sources can affect the cooling efficiency of your AC. This subject also includes other appliances that generate heat when in use such as your dryer and oven. Your air conditioning system interprets your space as warmer than it really is, so it works at least twice the effort. And again, your wallet will not be happy about its effects on your utility bills. Make sure to do your drying chores at night, instead of during the day to achieve better energy efficiency.
After we have talked about the number of ways you can use your AC more efficiently, it’s also fitting to mention that you can talk to someone at Air Professionals Heating & Air Conditioning about the air conditioning solution for your space. Call us for your free home assessment NOW (908) 284-2422.
Annual maintenance is key for your furnace to operate at maximum effectiveness. A dirty furnace has to work harder and will cost more to operate—increasing your utility bills.Read More
Having an AC runs the risk of wasting precious energy and money if you’re not careful. Hopefully, you won’t fall victim to that with this guide.Read More
When the temperature rises, don’t be caught simmering in the hot summer heat! The last thing you want on the first really hot day of summer is to find your central air conditioner doesn’t work.Read More
We talked with our rep over at Aprilaire, Tom Bentley, who leads the learning development. We asked him in a Q&A session to explain more about how furnaces and humidifiers work together.Read More