That warm weather is fast approaching and before you know it you’re going to rely a lot more heavily on your air conditioner. When the summer heat hits, you’ll need to be sure everything is running smoothly in order to keep your home nice and cool.
This brings up two concerns – rising energy costs and proper air conditioning maintenance. Each one plays an important role in regulating your home’s interior climate as both could have a serious impact on your wallet and the ability to stay cool and comfortable when the temperatures hit triple digits.
Setting the Thermostat
Many homeowners now rely on programmable thermostats to regulate their air conditioners so that the systems are running as efficiently and effectively as possible. When you are constantly adjusting the temperature levels in the home, that can have a burdensome effect on your AC unit causing it to operate longer than and more frequently.
Guess what that does your energy bills? Your electricity use will increase tremendously with this haphazard approach to staying comfortable in the summer and just because the temperatures are going up doesn’t mean your electric bills have to follow suit.
Programmables allow you to set the thermostat to one temperature so that it shuts on and off less frequently and works for shorter periods of time. The key is to program the internal temperature as close to that of the outdoors as possible. So if it’s 80 degrees, set your thermostat to around 75 degrees.
That way you remain cool without relying on your AC to work for extended periods of time to get your home to a chilly temperature.
You may be thinking that’s a tall order on days when it’s hitting high 90’s or worse outside and, of course, you may need to run the system much longer. But you won’t feel so bad knowing you were able to conserve more often on those days when the heat wasn’t as extreme.
Keep the Warm Air Out
Another essential for running your AC this summer is to know how to keep from running it less. Sure, the programmable thermostat helps but it’s also crucial to reduce the amount of heat gain in the home.
When you cut down on allowing warm air to permeate the home you also cut down on the length of time you run your air conditioner. You have a few choices for doing this and it starts with the windows.
Glass is a lousy form of insulation in that it does absolutely nothing as a barrier to heat penetration. So it’s going to be up to your window dressings do the important work. Heavy curtains and shades can be instrumental in blocking the sun’s heat and UV rays from seeping through and heating up your home.
Choose your window coverings carefully, opting for lighter colors which are better at deflecting heat while darker colors are going to absorb the sunlight and contribute to warming up the room. That’s going to make you run your AC much longer than might be necessary otherwise.
But wait, the windows aren’t the only thing in your home that can generate increased heat. You need not look any further than the kitchen to identify other culprits that can raise the temperature while you’re trying to stay cool.
Try to refrain from running your dishwasher at peak hours of the day and the same goes for your oven. Both of these appliances are well known for their use of heat and if you keep them off when the sun is at its highest peak during the day, you won’t be fighting a war for climate controlled comfort on multiple fronts.
That will give your AC a break and keep it running for only as long as necessary to reach your desired indoor temperature.
Change the Filter
Air filters are an essential component of AC units because they allow for airflow to circulate through the system correctly. If the filter is dirty, that can clog up the system, making it harder for air to get in and make your system work harder and longer to reach your desired internal temperature.
HVAC systems that become overtaxed and heavily burdened with lengthy periods of operation can get burned out and that can lead to exorbitant repair and replacement costs. It’s recommended that you switch out your filter every two to three months depending on how often you use your AC unit.