Bring on the heat! Summer is here and with it the warm, sunny days we craved all winter. Chances are that as the outside temperature spikes so do the costs of your utility bills. Maximizing the efficiency of your air conditioning system can often result in lower costs, prolonging the life of the systems and keeping your home more comfortable.
Here are 10 things you can do to keep your cooling system running efficiently:
- Close windows and doors – Conditioned air escapes outside when windows and doors are open. Try to turn off your air conditioner before opening windows to air out your house. Also, remember to close the doors as quickly as possible when entering or exiting your home.
- Seal leaks in your attic, under doors, around windows, and insulate exposed ductwork – Air leaks can be a problem for lost efficiency and can result in your air conditioning system operating longer than it needs to. Consider investing in new weather-stripping around doors, recaulking windows, and adding insulation in the attic. Make sure that ductwork is properly sealed so that it doesn’t leak any of your conditioned air. Visual leaks can be fixed with specialized duct-sealing tape that is UL 181-rated. Your HVAC professional should also inspect the ductwork during your regularly-scheduled maintenance visits.
- Increase your thermostat by a few degrees, program it and forget about it – Setting your thermostat to a lower temperature does not necessarily cool your home faster. Your air conditioner will just run longer, driving up your utility bills. Typically, adjusting temperatures up by 5 to 8 degrees can help save money and energy. Each degree you dial below 78 increases your energy consumption by about 8 percent. Also, constantly adjusting your thermostat can make your system run longer than it needs to. This results in more frequent on-and-off cycles and can affect the overall comfort of your home.
- Do not use registers to control the room temperature – Using registers for temperature control can restrict airflow and lower efficiency. When you open and close registers, it can affect the cooling load your air conditioner is designed to handle. This may cause damage to the system, reduce home comfort and even cause the growth of mold in the ducts. Therefore, only use the thermostat to control the temperature.
- Keep lamps and other heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat – Having heat-producing appliances near your thermostat will tell it that the air needs to be cooled more. This causes the system to run longer and work harder.
- Maximize airflow around your air condenser and make sure it is shaded – Avoid direct sunlight from beating down on the unit as that can help prevent it from getting overheated and overworked. Plants and shrubs should be a least 2 feet away from the unit so they do not obstruct airflow and also should be clean and clear of debris.
- Change your air filters regularly – Maximum airflow means maximum efficiency. A dirty air filter not only reduces indoor air quality, but it can also reduce airflow and make your air conditioner’s job harder.
- Clean indoor vents and keep them unblocked – Vacuum dust and debris away from indoor supply vents to help maintain steady airflow and to improve the air quality in the home. Similarly, do not put curtains or furniture in front of vents.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed and don’t use your dryer and/or oven during the hottest hours of the day – When direct sunlight flows through windows, it warms the inside of your home. While this is good in the winter, it can make your house feel like an oven in the summer. Running heat-producing appliances generates additional warm air in the home and causes your air conditioner to work harder. Try keeping the windows covered during the day and, if possible, consider using your dryer and oven only in the evening.
- The most important thing… Find an HVAC company like Levco that you can trust. Levco is fully equipped for all of your heating, cooling, and repair service needs. You can depend on Levco’s certified technicians to give you the best advice about maintaining and improving your heating and air conditioning systems.
Keep cool all summer with Levco by your side. Lean on us for same-day solutions, expert air conditioning service, and professional installation with a team that is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more useful tips and information, stay up to date with Levco by liking our page on Facebook.