How to Optimize Air Conditioner Use

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.

Program It

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.

Steps to Take When Faced With a Plumbing Emergency

Steps to Take When Faced With a Plumbing Emergency

Plumbing issues range from dripping pipes to waste smells and gas leaks. These crises can be scary if this is your first experience. However, following several steps after noticing this problem will save you money in the long run.

Do Not Get Nervous

It is a natural human instinct to panic when faced with a severe issue. However, when you let your emotions have the best of you in an emergency situation, it can cost you several thousand dollars because of water damage. During this type of situation, you have to take the rational route; otherwise, a leak or a toilet that is overrunning will become a bigger problem. Taking a moment of silence and a deep breath with help you to not overreact.

Some people even panic and try to fix the problem on their own. It would help if you did not attempt this because you are not an experienced professional, so you will more than likely mess up the job instead of improving it. Calling a professional is your best option during any plumbing emergency. Most companies have emergency services, and they will be able to come to your house very quickly to assist.

Shut Off Your Water

The first thing you should do when you see a leak is to turn off the water valve. When you let the water continuously run and there is a leak in the pipe, you will be doing nothing but wasting valuable water and money. Water valves can be tricky to search for, so turn off the main water supply if this is an issue for you. However, it would be best to figure out where your water valve is before this type of situation strikes because it can make all the difference. Water valves appear as circular knobs and levers, and you have to move the handle in a clockwise position to shut off the water in your toilet or faucet.

You could also shut off the water to the entire house. If you are looking for a valve to cut off the water in your home, it would be red and circular, and its location depends on the site of your property. In warm areas, your valve will be outside, while in cold environments, your valve will be on the inside of your home by the water heater. You can also shut off the water supply to your entire property. This valve is usually located in a box on the street. When you find it, you should turn the inside valve clockwise and not leave it open.

Clean Up Water

Before your plumber comes to your house for this emergency, you should clean up as much excess water as you can. Cleaning up will help the plumber to be able to do their job better, and it will help you save your floors from water damage. Remove as much as you can so that your expenses will not be more extensive. Homeowners facing this problem should note that furniture and walls could be damaged by water that is not cleaned correctly.

After you wipe up the water, you should also disinfect the areas touched by the water. It would be best to use hot water, soap, and bleach to scrub the floors and walls that people in your household often touch. Remember to open up windows after completing this process since bleach has a powerful smell. Try not to come into this space for 10 hours or until after the area is completely dry.

Turn Off Electrical Appliances

Electricity and water are the most dangerous combination globally because water is such a great conductor of electricity. Humans quickly turn into an easy access way for electricity to travel through the water, into their bodies, then to the ground. This possibility is why it is hazardous to go swimming during a lightning storm. However, it would be best if you understood that the water would not be the thing to kill you. Rather, it is the ions inside of the water that will kill you. Ions exist in water with no net charge until you introduce them to electricity. If you do not turn off your electrical appliances, this could become a danger to everyone living in the house with you. It would be best if you attempted to turn off the primary power switch in your house for the safest option.

Check Your Water Heater

If your water heater is not tankless, you need to shut it off right after you cut off your water valve. When you have plumbing emergencies, this is a crucial step that could cost you a lot of money if you overlook it. When you turn off your water, cold water from the outside stops coming into the tank. This change creates a situation where your hybrid or traditional tank water heater will not refill itself with water. If the tank becomes empty, this could cause a buildup of pressure on the inside. You should note that if the water is only off for a small period of time, then you could leave the water heater on.

When working with a water heater, you need to understand its components. You need to know where the drain valve, shutoff valve, pressure relief valves, and heating mechanism are located. In case of a leak, you will not need to shut off your water heater unless you want to save a few bucks. However, you do have the option of turning down the temperature of your water heater. This will save you from having to complete the task of turning it back on, which can be rather timely. It will also take your hot water longer to build up again.

Open Drains and Spigots

The purpose of opening drains and fixtures is to let out the remainder of the water. This is an extra step to ensure that water is directed away from your property and areas prone to water damage. If any of your drains are clogged, you can try opening them up with a plunger. However, make sure that you are doing this gently so that you do not damage your drain. Also, please do not use any chemicals before the plumber arrives because this can cause excess harm as well.

Call a Professional

Do not hesitate to turn to Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air when you have a plumbing emergency. We have been providing quality services in Sacramento County since 1976, and HVAC services since 2012. To back up our claims, we have won the Best of the Best award for nine years straight. The Rocklin Chamber of Commerce also gave us an award called the Business Excellence Award. We offer services such as air conditioning, ventilation, commercial projects, plumbing, indoor air quality, and more. We will be there when you need us most, offering honest, reliable, and dependable service.

Contact Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air today so that we can handle your plumbing repair needs!