When the temperature rises we all look for ways to stay cool and keep ourselves comfortable. However, it can be quite expensive to maintain a suitable temperature inside your home, if you choose to enjoy the comfort of an air conditioner. Though the functionality of an air conditioning unit is pretty simple, it relies on several components to work smoothly and efficiently all day long.
Besides, there are things you could do to minimize the energy costs without ever having to sacrifice the comfort inside your home. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your air conditioner in excellent condition, meaning they can hold the temperature to the best of their ability while saving more money on utility bills.
How to enhance the functional capability of your AC unit?
The following are a few simple ways to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency and get the most out of the system, while limiting your expenses:
1. Temperature Control
In general, the efficiency of your air conditioner is decided based on its usage and maintenance. When the heat gets unbearable, people have the tendency to run their air conditioners throughout the day. Some may even possess the habit of setting their unit to a lower temperature when no one is around – not the right thing to do!
To avoid such mistakes, it is essential to understand that your air conditioner will operate at the same speed and will take the same amount of time whether you set the temperature to 18° or 24° degrees. Furthermore, setting the air conditioner to a lower temperature is the most common mistake we make that doesn’t necessarily result in faster cooling.
As a result, your air conditioner may work harder than it should which will, in turn, increase your energy costs. However, with a smart thermostat, you can automatically regulate the temperature for different periods of the day or at times when you’re out of your home.
So, to help reduce your utility costs, consider a thermostat that has a built-in timer which will not only allow you to preset the temperature but also maximize your unit’s efficiency. In this regard, you can definitely ensure a more comfortable temperature inside your home without ever having to increase energy usage.
This is why you must set your thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature and keep your air conditioning system from overloading. At the end of the day, you’ll have more control over your home’s temperature when you invest your time and money in purchasing a smart thermostat.
2. Keep The Sunlight Out
Windows are the primary source through which the sunlight enters your home. Though sunlight can help in reducing your utility costs, it is essential to keep your windows closed during the hottest times of the day. You can also save a significant amount on utility costs if you choose to prevent the heat generated through direct sunlight from entering in.
So, by restricting the sunlight out, your air conditioning system doesn’t have to work all the time to maintain an optimal temperature.
Use opaque curtains and blinds as a strong line of defense to keep sunlight from warming the inside of your home. Therefore, limiting the incoming sunlight can help moderate the amount of strain your air conditioner puts in keeping your house fresh and cool.
You can even leave the windows opened when the sun goes down to encourage a free flow of natural fresh air inside your house. Therefore, keeping your blinds and curtains closed during the day can actually lower the temperature and increase your air conditioner’s efficiency.
Pro tip: Use window coverings in colors that can reflect rather than absorb the sun’s heat.
3. Weatherize Your Home
Doors, windows, and vents are a significant source of air leaks inside your home. The chances of leaking mostly happen when there are cracks or openings on the wall, floor or ceiling. Therefore, weatherizing or sealing air leaks around your home is an excellent way to reduce your cooling expenses.
Weather stripping and caulking are simple air sealing techniques that offer an excellent return on investment and prevent the cold air from escaping outside. It also plays a significant role in lowering your energy bills by keeping the hot air from entering your home.
So, to prevent air leaks, you should ensure that there are no openings between the wall and the frames of vent, door or window. In the same way, sealing the cracks around the edges of your door and windows is an excellent way to retain the temperature and cut down utility costs.
4. Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are a much cheaper alternative for air conditioners, but they have very less impact on the environment (low greenhouse gas emissions). They consume less energy when compared to an air conditioner and hence having a few extra fans as a backup seems like an excellent idea.
In general, ceiling fans can hold the temperature even after your air conditioning system is turned off. They can significantly help in reducing the temperature inside your home, and so, it can serve as an excellent cooling option if your AC unit breaks down.
Use your existing ceiling fans or install them throughout your house to increase energy efficiency and take some burden off your air conditioner. In doing so, you can considerably lower the cost of dealing with your air conditioning repair and maintenance services － don’t underestimate the value of it.
Fans can also help your air conditioner to run more efficiently by circulating cold air around the house which not only saves money on your utility bills but also increases your unit’s efficiency. So, you can use the thermostat to turn off your air conditioner at nights and let the ceiling fans do all the work.
5. Basic Maintenance
Ignoring the maintenance of your air conditioner will negatively impact its airflow whilst also reducing your unit’s efficiency. Therefore, cleaning or replacing the air filters is one of the crucial steps in maintaining the effectiveness of your air conditioner.
A clogged and dirty filter would make your unit to work harder which may often result in reducing the cooling capacity of your air conditioning unit. Therefore, the filters have to be regularly cleaned and maintained when your system is used more frequently.
Filters can be easily removed and washed with water to get rid of the dust accumulated over time. So, it is essential to get yourself involved with the basic maintenance process to eliminate performance related issues down the line.
Moreover, keeping a check on other air conditioner parts like drains, coils, etc. is the most critical part of your maintenance routine which should never be forgotten. So, if your unit is not kept in good condition, it’ll have to work longer and harder to offer the same level of comfort, significantly reducing your unit’s efficiency and increasing your utility bills.
6. Reduce Heat Sources
Anything you can do to reduce the heat inside your house or room will make your air conditioning unit much more efficient. So, it is essential to keep the heat-generating appliances such as lamps or televisions far from your operating unit.
Heat generated from cooking, washing, baking or using other home appliances can also increase the indoor temperature, making your air conditioning system to work harder. Therefore, it is essential to limit those activities during the hottest hours of the day.
The position of your thermostat plays a significant role in how efficiently your air conditioner runs. When heat generating devices are placed close to your thermostat, it might think that your home requires more cooling than it actually does, resulting in increased energy bills and a unit that works harder than it should.
7. Use Your Windows Wisely
Doesn’t matter which part of the world you live in, the temperature drops as soon as the sun goes down. So, if you live in a place where the summers are not awfully hot, turn off your air conditioner and open your windows while sleeping – serves as a natural cooling source. There are even a lot of health benefits associated with it.
Opening your window at nights is an excellent way to increase air circulation and generate a cool breeze throughout your home. You can even pre-cool your house the night before by leaving your windows open which helps to minimize the excess strain put on your air conditioner the following day.
Keeping your windows open can make your home more comfortable without having to rely on your air conditioning system. Therefore, turning your air conditioner off when it’s services are not required can save more energy in the long run.
Pro tip: You can open the curtains in the evening to allow the heat from your home to escape through the windows.
When it comes to surviving in hot summer conditions, air conditioners are not just a luxury, it’s an item of necessity for every household. However, your air conditioner would use a substantial amount of energy to help you maintain a comfortable temperature all season long.
To prevent your air conditioner from high electricity bills and breakdowns, you need to take necessary measures to avoid some common errors. There are things you could do around your home that can improve your unit’s efficiency and can save a lot on utility bills.
Ultimately, it will not only save you thousands of dollars but also keep your unit from a break down that might leave you sweating. Moreover, if you feel that your air conditioner is pretty old, it is probably the right time to replace your existing unit with a new energy efficient one.
Though there are things you could do to keep your air conditioner in good shape, some things are best left to the professionals!