Although the official start of summer, as marked by the solstice, is days away, we feel pretty confident in declaring that it’s officially air conditioning season. If you’re trying to reduce your energy bills and do your part of the environment, you’re probably wondering what you can do to get the most out of your air conditioning this summer. We’ve got you covered and we’ll keep you cool.
13 Quick Tips for Beating the Heat!
Reach for the Stars
If you’re still relying on an ancient window shaker, it’s time to invest in a new unit. Replace all your old units with new, energy-efficient ENERGY STAR air conditioner. Before you plop down your credit card, though, make sure you’re purchasing an appropriately-sized air conditioner for your space. When it comes to air conditioners, bigger isn’t always better.
Use this guide from ENERGY STAR to find the right cooling capacity for the size of your room:
IMAGE SOURCE: ENERGY STAR
Make the Central Plunge
If you’re finding that both your human family and fur family members are flocking to the window unit, gasping for precious cool air, then it may be time to invest in central air conditioning. Modern units are safer, more effective, and more affordable than ever before. If your furnace has been giving your fits and you’ve been considering replacing it, you may as well kill two birds with one stone.
Let Mother Nature Do Her Thing
Replacing your air conditioning is a pretty dramatic and pricey solution, but you can make the most of your new unit by enlisting Mother Nature’s assistance. As you make your way to bed each night, take a quick look at the forecast. If the nights are calm and cool, throw open the blinds and the windows. Here’s the trick: don’t forget to close up shop when you wake up in the morning!
Minimize Your Square Footage
If you’re cooling seldom-used rooms, stop it! Shut the doors and close the vents in unused guest rooms, bathrooms, and bonus rooms. This alone could save you a bundle in cooling.
Keep Your AC in the Shade
If at all possible, install your window units and central air units in a shady location. Air conditioners in shady areas run more efficiently because they’re drawing cooler air over the coils and don’t need to work as hard to produce the temperatures you desire.
Place Your Thermostat Wisely
If your thermostat is located next to your full-glass door and gets a big dose of afternoon sun, your system is going to be working some overtime. Relocate your thermostat to a sheltered, yet convenient location. While you’re at it, make sure it’s an easily programmable model.
Touch That Dial!
In the summer, set your thermostat for the highest temperatures you can comfortably tolerate. We recommend 78-80 degrees. Angie’s List writes “Each degree you dial below 78 increases your energy consumption by about 8 percent. If your monthly electric bill is about $100, you’ll save $8 a month with EACH degree you can stand above 78.” That’s a savings that adds up!
Weatherwise Your Home (and Close the Windows)
Make sure that your doors and windows seal tightly. Dap Seal ‘N Peel Removable Caulk is easy to apply, non-permanent, waterproof, and won’t harm painted surfaces. It also prevents your cool air from conditioning the neighborhood. If you have blinds or curtains, considering drawing them shut during the heat of the day.
Get the Film Out
Many historic homes feature beautiful original, single-pane windows. While these windows are picturesque and charming, they’re energy nightmares. If you’re not willing to invest in new windows, buy a few rolls of window film and apply it to the inside of your windows. It’ll keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Win-win!
Seal Your Ducts
While you’re in the air-proofing and weatherizing mood, take a look at your ducts. If you see obvious gaps, tape them over with specialized duct sealing tape. Go the extra mile and earn extra credit by insulating your ductwork thoroughly.
Give Your Fans a Workout
Go old school and place a fan in every room or consider allowing your house fan to run even when your central air conditioning is taking a break. This usually buys you an extra degree or two of cooling.
Keep Your Filters Clean
This is especially important now that allergy season is upon us. Check your filter monthly, if you use your air conditioning often or run your house fan frequently, you may need to replace your filter every month. Not only will a clean filter improve the air quality in your home, but it helps your system run more efficiently.
Fire Up the Grill
The best way to avoid turning on your oven (and heating your home while you make dinner) is to fire up the grill. Give your roasting pan a rest and break out the tongs!
To schedule an AC tune-up or for a free quote, contact Parthenon Plumbing.