Energy-efficient tips to keep your house cool this summer
It’s getting hot in here, and by here, we mean the entire planet. Every summer seems to be warmer than the one before. Lucky for us, we have air conditioning to help keep us cool all summer long.
However, we can only expect higher energy bills with all the action our air conditioning system is going to see this summer. Then again, we can still ensure a cool summer for everyone in our home without breaking the bank. Here are some of the ways we can do that.
Get your air conditioner a tuneup before the onset of summer.
You already know that your AC system will be subjected to heavy use in the summer, so you have to get it ready for some heavy work. A tuneup will do wonders for your AC. Get a licensed, bonded, and insured air conditioning professional to do it, and you’ll have a fully-serviced AC by the time the summer gets here. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing your air conditioner will be less likely to break down in the middle of the sweltering heat.
Check and clean the filter a month later.
Because you had a tuneup performed, your air conditioner's air filter may be clean on the first day of summer. A month of continuous use, however, could mean a dirty air filter at the end of that period.
So check the air filter after a month to make sure it’s clean, and airflow is still optimal. You don’t want a dirty air filter clogging things up and causing inefficient operation and higher energy bills. And if the air filter is indeed dirty, take it out and clean it yourself since it’s easy enough to do.
Don’t let the sun shine on your AC unit.
If your air conditioner unit is exposed to the direct rays of the sun, then it’s bound to work harder—and therefore consume more power—and lead to higher energy bills. Things will be really different if only your outdoor unit is shielded from the sun. Planting trees near the unit can give it more shade. You can also opt to build an actual shade for your unit to help it regain its efficiency.
Keep your thermostat away from the sun.
Your thermostat reads the temperature in the room and signals the central air conditioner unit to continue or stop running depending on whether the temperature is cool enough or a tad too hot. If the room is sufficiently cool, but your thermostat is getting hit by direct sunlight, it will think the room is not adequately cooled and will tell the AC unit to run longer than necessary.
Aside from direct sunlight, other sources of heat that could mess with the thermostat include LED lamps, TVs, and refrigerators, so place your thermostat away from them.
Get that ceiling fan running.
If you have ceiling fans, turn them on and adjust your thermostat accordingly. Doing this will improve the distribution of cool air in your home without setting the thermostat to freezing just so every nook and cranny of your home will feel cool.
Cook outside your house.
Cooking inside your home on a sweltering summer day can only make everything hotter indoors and your AC unit work doubly hard. To avoid the energy inefficiency that comes with that temperature, we can always cook outside on a grill or a fire pit, if you have one. But if that isn’t an option, then you might want to cook your food on a microwave oven, which doesn’t produce heat like regular ovens and stoves.
Plug your home’s gaps, cracks, and holes.
It’s such a waste of money if you just let all that cool air escape from your home through its numerous gaps, cracks, and holes. That loss also leads to higher energy bills, as the AC unit will continue running to compensate for it.
Identify where those exit points are and plug them. Improve the insulation in your windows and doors, too. If you have the budget to insulate your entire house better, then figure out its insulation requirements by having a professional do an energy audit on your home.
These are just some of the things you can do to keep cool this summer with the help of your AC system. Follow them to ensure that your summer will be fun, cool, and energy-efficient!
About The Author
Rebecca Anderson is the Content Marketing Strategist of FH Air Conditioning, a heating and air conditioning repair and service company that has been serving the Phoenix Valley since 1974. On her spare time, she enjoys reading books and mountaineering with her family and friends
I’m a construction professional, author of several successful construction management books, and a home owner. I’ve made mistakes in construction management, I’ve seen others make mistakes, but importantly I’ve had multiple successful construction projects and I’ve learned from the mistakes. I want to share these lessons and my knowledge with you.
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