Did you know that the heating and cooling system contributes up to 70% of your total energy expenditure on hot summer months and 12% on your annual costs? While the air conditioner will help you combat the summer heat, you are likely to dent your pockets when writing the monthly energy bills. In this article, we highlight five ways to maximize your air conditioner for the season ahead.
1. Regularly clean and replace the air filters
The HVAC system operates at a maximum efficiency rate when it achieves maximum airflow. However, over time, the air filters fitted in the AC system to trap dust, pet dander, dirt, and debris become clogged, impacting its efficiency significantly. Clogged AC filters compromise the indoor air quality and reduce airflow, making the HVAC unit work twice as hard to maintain optimal conditions. This leads to more energy consumption and increased utility bills.
If left unattended, filthy filters could damage the AC, necessitating expensive repairs, so you should consider cleaning them with warm soapy water. Alternatively, replace the existing filters with new ones to improve the air conditioner cooling.
2. Invest in ceiling fans
You do not have to amp up the air conditioner this summer to cool your home. Installing ceiling fans can help distribute cool air throughout the house and increase the thermostat temperature by four degrees without compromising comfort. When the ceiling fan turns counterclockwise, it pushes cool air towards the ground creating a chill wind effect. If your budget allows, invest in a smart fan that connects to an app on your mobile phone, allowing you to adjust it based on your preferred schedules.
3. Upgrade to a smart thermostat
If you have not yet upgraded to a programmable thermostat, it is time to change. A smart thermostat allows you to adjust the temperatures based on your schedule. It can increase or lower internal temperatures when it detects the presence or absence of people in the home. You could also adjust its settings so that you control temperatures remotely using your smartphone. With a programmable thermostat, you are guaranteed to save up to 10% of your summer heating and cooling expenditure.
4. Keep heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat
If you have placed heat-producing appliances such as the lamb, refrigerator, and television near your thermostat, you should consider removing them as they often trick the system into ‘perceiving’ that the home needs more cooling. This causes the system to work harder and longer to maintain optimal temperatures, resulting in more energy costs and increased wear and tear on your air conditioning unit.
5. Close windows and doors
It is tempting to leave the windows and doors open on a sunny summer afternoon to let in as much fresh air as possible. However, this allows the conditioned air to escape through the openings, making the air conditioner strain to maintain indoor temperatures, so you should consider closing windows and doors during the day. If you want to let in the fresh air, ensure that you first switch off the air conditioner.
You do not have to incur more utility bills this summer due to your heating and cooling system. Instead, invest in ceiling fans, clean or replace the filters, close doors and windows and upgrade to a programmable thermostat to maximize the air conditioner’s efficiency.