In the summertime, A/C, or air conditioning, is essential for maintaining a comfortable home. We depend on this utility to help us sleep better and work from home at the hottest times of the year. However, running your A/C too often can increase your utility bill and have a detrimental effect on the environment.
So, how do we beat the heat while reducing pollution and lowering our utility bills? Luckily, there are simple ways to keep the heat out and the A/C in this summer. We'll outline some preventive measures below to ensure your central air conditioning runs smoothly while saving you money in the long run.
1. Change Your Air Filters
An easy way to ensure your air conditioning is working properly is to change your air filters regularly. Clean air filters allow healthier indoor air while promoting energy efficiency and saving you money over time.
We recommend setting a monthly reminder for yourself, either on your phone or calendar, to check your air filters and have them cleaned or replaced if necessary.
2. Keep Your Vents Open
Like changing your air filters, keeping your vents open and clear of obstructions will allow your air to flow freely. When you close your air vent, it can increase pressure in the air ducts and cause leaks in the system. To get the most cost-effective results, allow your central air to run the way it was intended while preventing future costly repairs.
3. Schedule Preventive A/C Maintenance
To ensure your A/C condenser is working at optimal efficiency, contact a professional team to inspect and clean it at least twice a year. For best results, a reputable company can stop by right before the summer to ensure it's running correctly for when temperatures start to rise. They can also replace your air filters and ensure they're clean and healthy for your home.
4. Replace Your Weather Seals
Another easy way to keep the A/C in your home is to replace old or cracked weather seals on your doors and windows. By checking your home for any gaps, you can ensure cool air stays inside rather than leaking outdoors. Weatherstripping is relatively affordable and can save you significantly on energy bills when properly installed.
5. Change Your Lightbulbs
Though you may prefer the aesthetics of incandescent lightbulbs, it's important to note that they give off 90% heat and 10% light. You can reduce your energy bill each year when you switch to LED bulbs, which are more energy-efficient and let off less heat. If you're not ready to completely switch over, just placing a few in select rooms can make a difference in your home’s overall temperature.
6. Lower the Shades
A lot of that unwanted heat in your home filters through open blinds. During the hottest times of the day, you'll want to lower your shades and close your curtains to promote a relaxed and comfortable space.
This is especially true for south- and west-facing windows — lower the mid-day temperature of your home significantly when you close the blinds in these rooms. Doing so will reduce the demand for your air conditioning and save you money.
7. Utilize Fans
We all hope to do our part in creating a healthier planet for future generations. Most A/C units leak hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant into the atmosphere when destroyed, which is upwards of 3,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Further, running your A/C constantly means you're using a large amount of electricity, which means fossil fuels are being burned to keep your home cool.
To keep cool in the summer without an A/C unit, open a window on your main floor just slightly and then widely open one on the second floor of your home, on the opposite side of the downstairs window. Place a fan inside the second-floor window, facing outward to remove the rising warm air.
As for ceiling and furnace fans, even if they move much slower than regular air conditioning, they can still make a difference by reducing temperatures in your rooms. Utilize them in conjunction with your central air or on their own.
Ultimately, using fans will help you lower utility costs and reduce your negative impact on the environment.
8. Turn Fans Counterclockwise
When utilizing your ceiling fans during the warmer months, make sure the blades are spinning counterclockwise. Doing so will ensure your fans pull the hot air upward and circulate the cool air down to you, ensuring you can run your A/C less often.
9. Run Appliances at Non-Peak Hours
If you can, start changing the hours you run your appliances. By running your dryer and dishwasher at night, which both use hot water, you can prevent your house from heating up when the sun is out. This method makes it possible to avoid adding heat to your home during the hottest times of the day.
10. Cook Outdoors
Summers are perfect for grilling and having backyard barbecues with the family. Turn the heat down in your home by cooking outside and avoiding using the oven and stove too often in the summer. Your kitchen appliances can add unnecessary warmth to your home, so keep the outdoor grilling parties going!
11. Cool Your Exterior
As it starts to heat up outside, you'll notice your interior walls taking the brunt of it, causing warmer indoor temperatures. To reduce heat from your walls, you'll want to work on cooling the exterior of your home. One way to do this is to add awnings and plant trees, vines and shrubs outside. A well-placed shade tree can make a significant difference in your indoor temperatures while adding curb appeal to your property.
Adding awnings, shades and shutters to the exterior of your windows supplies another layer of protection from the sun. Awnings can reduce heat gains by 65% to 77%, especially when placed on west- and south-facing windows, so they become highly cost-effective in the long run.
Choose Smart Touch Energy for Summer A/C Maintenance
Warmer temperatures bring more demand for air conditioning. Thankfully, there are many ways to cut cooling costs, protect the environment and get the most out of our central air in the summer. One of the most effective ways to ensure our air conditioning is running at peak efficiency is by scheduling regular maintenance.
Smart Touch Energy provides A/C tune-ups when you need them the most. Our highly trained technicians can ensure your system works on the hottest days so your family is comfortable and your wallet is happy.
If you have any questions about our tune-up services, feel free to contact us today!