Summer weather is finally here. Keeping cool in the 80+ degree weather has become a priority. Time to uncover, clean up and install the air conditioner. Using the AC in the summer can also be stressful because it usually means an increase in your electricity usage. There are ways that you can still cut back on your energy usage and also enjoy a cool home.
Here are some tips on efficiently using your AC without breaking the bank.
Before putting your AC in the window make sure to clean out the filter if it wasn’t done before storage. A dirty filter affects the AC efficiency and the quality of air being blown into the room. The dirtier the filter the harder the AC works to keep the room cool. This can also shorten the overall lifespan of your air conditioner. During the peak of the summer it doesn’t hurt to clean your AC filters once a month. The more the AC is used and more frequent the required maintenance for efficiency.
If you can, having your AC unit in the shade helps keep it running smoothly. It draws air from the outside and cools it before circulating it into your home. The sun beating down on the AC makes it work harder in order to cool a room. If you are able to have your AC in the shade be careful not to crowd it. Crowding blocks airflow and as a result makes your AC work harder and draw more energy.
Alternate to a Fan
On cooler days and nights, it’s more energy efficient to use a fan instead of the AC. Alternating between a fan and AC gives the air conditioner time to rest and breathe so that it is not running 24/7. Fans generally use less energy to operate when compared to the air conditioners. As a result you save energy when running the fan and increase the longevity of the AC. Fans only move the air around, they don’t actually cool. So it makes more sense to use a fan when its cooler but you still need air circulation.
Draft Proof House
All these tips are only effective in efficient cooling if you’re not cooling the entire neighborhood. Drafty windows, doors and a poorly insulated attic make it harder to cool your house. Draft allows the heat to seep in from the outside making the AC work harder to keep the room cool. If your windows are drafty, replacement windows are a great investment to make this summer. Draft proof windows save you energy all year long.
At the end of the day, don’t make your AC work harder than it needs to. The harder it works to cool the house the more energy it is using. Stay cool this summer.