Maximize Air Conditioner Efficiency with these Simple Tips
Monday, August 11, 2014
August brings ever-warmer weather to the Midwest and while we watch our tolerance for heat and humidity drop, we also watch our energy bill grow with each trip to the thermostat to cool our homes just a little bit more.
Helping your air conditioner work efficiently is fairly simple and a smart move if you’re interested in saving money during the heat of the summer.
Clean Air Ducts
When was the last time you had your air ducts cleaned? If the answer is “never” or more than a few years ago, it may be time to call in the cleaners. Clean air ducts will not only improve air quality but will also remove any obstructions that could cause your air conditioner to work harder than it needs to in order to get cool air where it needs to be.
Along similar lines, it’s a good idea to replace air filters often, particularly when the weather is warm; every three months is a good rule of thumb.
Remember to have your air conditioner professionally serviced annually. Our skilled technicians can catch small problems before they loom large in the heat of the summer.
Cool Air in, Hot Air Out
Don’t forget to close chimney flues when cold weather passes. It’s unlikely that you’ll use the fireplace and the air conditioner during the same season, so when the air conditioner comes on, it’s time to keep the flue closed.
Cool air will seek out even small cracks in search of an easy escape so find any problem spots and seal them up. Look around windows, doors and seams and corners of walls for spots where cool air could get out.
If your windows and doors are particularly problematic, add weather stripping to stop the transference of warm and cool air. This trick will help in winter as well. Check the insulation in these areas as well, since they offer a great opportunity for heat exchange in most houses.
Another place to check your insulation is in the attic. Without adequate insulation, or the right type, you’re likely to lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.
If there are areas of your house that you don’t need to cool or that are unfinished, seal them off and close the vents. If no one uses a space, it doesn’t make sense to keep it comfortable.
Windows and Blinds
If it’s in your budget, consider replacing old, single pane windows with high-efficiency windows. There’s a steep upfront cost, but over time you cold see a 25 – 50% savings on energy bills.
Use window blinds and shades to deflect light and heat from the interior of your home. Covering your windows provides the additional benefit of reducing the admittance of UV rays that damage your furniture and carpeting.
If you want the benefit of blinds without covering up the view, add UV coatings or films to your exterior windows. New windows often have low-e coating which allow the light but not the UV rays or the heat, to enter a room. You can contract professionals to add this type of coating to your windows or you can apply sheets of deflecting UV film yourself.
Moving Air Around
Install or utilize ceiling fans whenever possible to better circulate cool air. Encourage family members to use vents and fans in bathrooms and the kitchen to remove heated air efficiently. Consider installing register booster fans to rooms you use often.
Using any of these tips will help your air conditioning unit work more efficiently this summer. If you find that none of them make a large enough impact, give us a call and we’ll make sure your air conditioner is working properly.
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