How to Optimize Air Conditioner Use
When the blistering hot summer months come back around, you likely rely on your air conditioning system to keep your family cool. While air conditioning can be great for staying comfortable during the long summer days, it can also be very expensive. It’s important to understand various strategies that you can use to optimize your air conditioner usage with the goal of staying cool while saving money on energy bills.
Use Exhaust Fans
Most homes come with two different types of exhaust fans. The first sits above your stove and removes the steam coming off of the foods that you’re cooking. The second exhaust fan is located in your bathroom and removes the humid air as you’re taking a shower.
It’s crucial that you run both of these fans whenever you’re cooking or taking a shower to remove humidity from the air. If you lose the humidity trapped inside, it will not only make you more susceptible to biological growth, but it will also make it feel so much hotter in your home. Anytime you’re dealing with humidity in the body, it makes a person feel much warmer than their environment actually is.
Invest in Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are another great investment that you should be considering to optimize the efficiency of your air conditioning system. In the summertime, you’ll want to have your ceiling fan facing in a downward direction so that the air blows down onto you. You should have ceiling fans located in the most highly trafficked rooms in your home. These include your living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and home office.
When your body experiences the breeze that a ceiling fan offers, it can make a room feel up to 10 degrees colder than it actually is. Because your body perceives the room as colder due to your ceiling fan, you won’t have to set the thermostat on your air conditioning system as low as without the ceiling fans. This will allow you to run your air conditioning system less while still keeping your family comfortable.
Always Have a Clean Filter
One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make when it comes to using their air conditioning system efficiently is having a clogged filter. There is an air filter located inside of the ductwork for your air conditioning system. It works to collect loose particles and debris from the air inside of your home to make it cleaner.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to forget to change out your filter on a regular basis. Whenever your filter gets clogged with too much debris, it will cause your air conditioning system to work harder to force air through the pump filter. As a good rule of thumb, you should be replacing your air conditioner filter at least once a month during the summertime.
It’s highly advisable that you check your filter every couple of weeks. When you pull it out of its housing, you want to hold it up to a light source. If you can see through the filter, then it’s got a couple more weeks left in it. If you can’t see through the air filter, it’s time to have it replaced. You can find a new filter online at your local hardware store.
Having a programmable thermostat is essential to making your air conditioning system as energy-efficient as possible. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you should consider investing in one as the energy savings will outweigh the cost of getting one. The trick to energy savings with a programmable thermostat is actually programming it around your schedule.
These thermostats can allow you to program in different temperatures for different hours throughout each day of the week. When you’re programming it, you’ll want to set the thermostat to around 78 degrees at times that you know your family’s going to be at home. You want to set it to 88 degrees whenever your family is not going to be at home. This will allow the system to run less when no one is home.
Regularly Clean Around the Condenser Unit
An essential part of your air conditioning unit is the outdoor condenser unit. Due to its position in the outdoors, it’s not unlikely for leaves and other loose debris to blow up against it. Whenever debris gets trapped around the condenser unit, the unit is not able to work efficiently. This is due to the fact that your outdoor unit relies on a fan to bring in fresh air to disperse the heat that was pulled out of the air inside of your home.
It’s a good idea to check out your condenser unit once a week. If you notice any loose debris like leaves build up against the side of it or wedged in between the unit and your house, clear them out. It only takes a couple of seconds and will help ensure that your condenser unit is working properly so that your air conditioning system can work as efficiently as possible.
Be Mindful of Vents
Your air conditioning system relies on a series of vents and ductwork that run throughout all the rooms of your home. Each room has at least two vents in it. One of these vents is responsible for pulling air into your air conditioning system, and the other is responsible for returning cooled air to the room. In order for your air conditioning system to work effectively, it needs to have a free flow of air around these vents.
You should take the time to walk through each room of your home and ensure a couple of things. The first is that the vent grates are in an open position and not closed. Second, you’ll want to look in front of the vent to see if there’s any physical object blocking its ability to deliver air or pull air into the ductwork. It’s not uncommon to accidentally move your furniture in front of one of your vents or to place an object such as a plant in its way.
Keep Out Direct Sunlight
One natural problem that many homeowners experience is having a lot of direct sunlight coming in the windows and glass doors of their homes. While it might be nice to have the extra light, it will actually cause your rooms to heat up very quickly. If you’ve ever sat out in the direct sunlight, you know that it can get hot really quickly.
When direct sunlight comes into your home and heats up your room, your air conditioning system will kick on. This causes your air conditioning system to constantly run throughout the day to combat the heat that the direct sunlight is creating. It’s best to use curtains, blinds, or UV window filters to keep the direct sunlight out of the various rooms of your home.
Always Schedule Annual Maintenance
One of the most important things you can do to enhance the efficiency of your home air conditioning system is to schedule your annual maintenance. Having an air conditioning professional come out and perform maintenance on your system is the key to ensuring that there are no malfunctioning parts. During their visit, they’ll be checking over various components of your system to ensure that they’re working properly. They’ll work to clean any dirty parts and recharge any low refrigerant levels.
Expert AC Service
Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air is your expert AC service provider for the Sacramento area. We also provide heating, plumbing, indoor air quality, and ducting services for all of our loyal customers. Just give us a call today and let us assist you.