It is amazing how much we have come to depend upon air conditioning in our homes. When I was growing up, we depended upon fans to keep cool, or we just suffered a little until the temperature came down.
Today, it is hard to imagine a home without air conditioning. But is your air conditioner working to its best potential? I recently found out that my coil was partially blocked and my air conditioner was not nearly as efficient as it should be.
Here are some things for you to consider about your air conditioner to make sure you get the best value for your money this summer.
Set Your Thermostat A Little Higher
Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Each degree that you set lower than 78 will increase your energy consumption by approximately 8%. General Motors guideline for offices is 76 degrees.
Use Ceiling Fans
Although fans do not make a room cooler, they do make it feel cooler when you are in it. You can run a ceiling fan for just pennies per day and reduce the cost of air conditioning a room. You should shut the fan off if you are not going to be in the room. Also, make sure the fan is set in the summer mode, not in the winter mode.
Use Window Coverings
On a hot day, window drapes or awnings can keep the cooling cost down by keeping heat from coming through the windows. Shade trees are also an effective method of controlling temperature. They can block the heat in summer but let heat in during winter when they have dropped their leaves.
Clean Up Around Your Air Conditioner
Make sure that leaves, grass clippings, or other debris are not blocking the vents to your outdoor coils. Any foliage should be at least 2 inches away from the air conditioner.
Change Your Filter
Keeping your filter clean can reduce your air conditioner energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Be sure to check the filter at the start of the season and replace it if it is dirty. Check it monthly during the summer to make sure that you maintain top efficiency
Don’t Trick Your Thermostat
Make sure your thermostat is not placed so that it gets false readings due to the heat generated by appliances, such as refrigerators, TV sets, or lamps. Make sure that heat coming in a window is not affecting the thermostat.
This article was written by Jim Cartwright, Certified Energy Manager