Running your air conditioner nonstop may be a great way to keep your home cool and comfortable this summer, but it’s also a great way to waste energy and run up your utility bills. Since you probably don’t want to forego using your AC during the summer months, we have some handy energy-saving tips to keep your energy bills manageable for the next few months.
1. Schedule Regular Tune-Ups
If you want to make sure that your HVAC unit is functioning correctly, schedule regular tune-ups with an HVAC professional. This should include a thorough inspection of your central air conditioning unit, ductwork, and anything else that is part of your HVAC system. An HVAC professional will at the very least ensure that your AC unit has plenty of coolant and is in good working order, but they might also find and fix minor issues before they can turn into costly repair jobs. We at Agers Heating & Air Conditioning recommend scheduling these tune-ups at least once a year, preferably during the spring before you get to the main cooling season.
2. Replace Your HVAC Filter Every Month
This tip doesn’t just apply to the summer, but it is still a simple yet important bit of HVAC maintenance that you can complete yourself. Your HVAC system has a filter that traps allergens such as dust and pollen before they can make their way through your home’s ducts. Naturally, this filter gets very dirty, which in turn can impede the airflow through your home’s ducts. Changing this filter every month will improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and help keep your utility bills low.
3. Use Your Windows
Your windows can affect the temperature of your home more than you think, so don’t forget about them if you want to save energy. If you notice a draft coming from your windows, seal them with weather-stripping tape to keep cold air in and warm air out. If it’s a cooler day, turn off your air conditioner and open a few windows to cool off.
4. Use Your Thermostat Wisely
Your thermostat controls the temperature of your home, so learn how to use it properly if you want to keep cool this summer without wasting too much energy. For maximum efficiency, the best setting for your thermostat during the summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. That may seem high for some people who like it cool, but it’s still more comfortable than the average summer temperature in Missouri. If you must have it cooler, try not to have too much of a difference between the temperature indoors and the temperature outdoors. The closer your indoor and outdoor temperatures are, the lower your energy bills will be.
If you’re going to leave your home for an extended period of time this summer, either turn off your air conditioner or raise your thermostat’s temperature to save energy. After all, nobody will be home, so there’s no reason why your house should be kept cool.
Finally, invest in a programmable thermostat if you haven’t already. A programmable thermostat can be programmed to adjust the temperature in your home based on the time of day. For example, if everyone in your household works or goes to school during the day, your thermostat might raise the temperature when nobody is around and bring it down to a more comfortable setting when everyone is home for the evening. A programmable thermostat can lower your utility bills by as much as 10% a year, so talk to Agers Heating & Air Conditioning about having one installed if you don’t have one already.
5. Use Fans to Feel Cool
Fans don’t technically lower the temperature of a room, but they can still make it feel cooler by creating a wind chill effect. Even if you raise the temperature with your thermostat or turn off your AC completely, a fan can still keep you comfortable. Just be sure to turn off fans before you leave a room. They cool people, not spaces.
6. Watch Where You Put Lamps and Other Appliances
Even if space is at a premium in your home, try to keep lamps, TVs, and other appliances that generate heat away from your thermostat. You might not feel the heat coming from them, but your thermostat will, and it will try to adjust the temperature of your home because of it. This could cause your air conditioner to cycle on and off, which wastes energy and puts a lot of stress on your HVAC system.
7. Keep Your Vents Clean and Unblocked
With most HVAC systems, cold air circulates through ducts and comes out through vents in your home. These vents can become clogged with dust and debris, so make sure to keep them clean. Even when they aren’t completely clogged, they can still spread dust throughout your home, so make sure that they stay clean for your own health.
Of course, this also means that you need to keep any air vents unblocked, so be careful where you put rugs, furniture, appliances, or anything else that could impede the airflow coming from a vent.
8. Turn Off Your Lights
Not only can lights use a lot of electricity, but they can raise the temperature of your home in some cases. If you’re home in the middle of the day, open your curtains or blinds and let some sunlight into your home. As long as you don’t get too much sun, this can be a great alternative to turning on the lights in your home. Naturally, you should also turn off the lights whenever you leave a room.
9. Seal Up Drafts
We’ve already talked about how drafty windows can be and how you can seal them with weather stripping, but there may be other drafts in your home that are making your air conditioning system less efficient. These can be sealed up, but you need to be able to find them first. Search for drafty areas in your home where there shouldn’t be in places such as your basement, attic, and near doors and windows. There may be more of these drafts than you know. Once you find them, you can seal these gaps with caulk or weatherstripping.
10. Don’t Use Your Oven on Hot Days
There is certainly nothing wrong with a home-cooked meal during the summer, but you should avoid turning on your oven on particularly hot days. Even if you have a great air conditioner that keeps your home cool, your oven will increase the temperature in your home and force your AC to work harder. Look for recipes that don’t require you to use your oven, go outside and grill, or go out to eat. Just about anything is better than turning on your oven on a hot day.
For more tips on how to save energy with your air conditioning this summer or for any air conditioning services you need, contact Agers Heating & Air Conditioning today.