For most people, air conditioning is considered an essential, in the car, home and office. Air conditioning gives us a place to cool down, which prevents heat-related illnesses, improves air quality by circulating and filtering the air, allows for a better sleep and protects your belongings.
But, even the most efficient air conditioners can increase your energy bill when run for excessive periods of time.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to optimize the effectiveness of your AC and stop wasting energy. If you don’t have air conditioning, most of these tips can still be used to keep your home cool!
Avoid creating extra heat.
On hot days, avoid cooking inside. Using your stove, especially your oven, creates heat, which warms up the air inside your home and could cause your air conditioner to work overtime. If you have a Barbeque, take advantage of the nice weather and cook your meal outside. Running the dryer and dishwasher at night, when the air around your home is naturally cooler can also help.
Take Advantage of Your Ceiling Fans
You may have noticed your ceiling fan has 3 cords, one for the light, one for the fan speed and another that changes the direction of your fan. The last of these was made for summer time operation. By running your fan counter clockwise, you are forcing the air downward, which creates a cool breeze that moves heat away from the fan location. If you feel cooler, you won’t have to turn the temperature down so far.
Plant Some Trees
Planting trees around your house will create shade, cooling down your house. Popular shade trees include hybrid poplars, red maples, willow trees, and eastern white pines. When you move into a new house and are designing your landscaping, consider the location of trees.
Just remember, if you enjoy the suns natural warmth in the winter, don’t plant trees on the south side of your house.
Don’t Skip Out on Professional Maintenance
Air conditioners have moving parts and they can wear down, fluid levels drop (if this is refrigerant it needs to be repaired) and (unfortunately, but realistically) problems develop during the year. By scheduling regular maintenance, you can ensure your air conditioner runs cleanly and efficiently.
You will also want to clean the air filter monthly to avoid dust and debris from affecting efficiency. In fact, an uncleaned filter can reduce cooling power by 1-2% every month.
Plan to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Just like any appliance, your air conditioner loses its efficiency over time. If your unit is more than 10 years old (or you don’t have one yet), you may want to save for a new one.
When you do get your new air conditioner make sure it is installed in the shade to reduce operating costs. Direct sun can reduce efficiency by 10%.
If you are interested in getting a new unit sooner rather than later, take a look at our specials and our financing programs.
Seal Your Home
If you have an old wood fireplace you no longer use, think about getting it properly sealed. Like a window, your chimney acts as an escape route for your air conditioning, and heat for that matter. Similarly, make sure your ducts are sealed and insulate ducts running through unheated basements and crawl spaces.
Limit the Effects of Sunlight
The sun comes in through your windows all day long, which adds extra heat to your home. To avoid the warming effects of the sun, install light coloured window shades or blinds, close curtains completely during the day (or at least south and west-facing ones, if you still want to enjoy some light) and place bamboo shades on the outside of some windows during the summer.
Taking these steps will not only optimize your comfort, it will help reduce the amount you spend on energy to run your air conditioning, putting more money back in your pocket.
If you would like to get your air conditioner serviced or replaced, contact us today!
For over 25 years, Custom Comfort ClimateCare has been a family owned and operated business serving the Barrie & Surrounding Areas. As contributing community members we understand the importance of improving the safety and comfort of your family and home which is why we employ highly skilled licensed gas & air conditioning technicians who want nothing less than your absolute satisfaction. From brand new installations to maintenance and repairs, Custom Comfort is your choice for Heating & Cooling Professionals.