With summer creeping up on us, it’s time for most of us to start turning on our AC units and get the proper air conditioning services needed. Because single air conditioning units or centralized systems have pretty much remained dormant throughout winter and spring, it’s possible that your AC might need to be revamped or require some sort of maintenance. While giving your AC unit a check-up shouldn’t take up too much time and should be relatively cost-effective, homeowners might be cautious of increasing energy bills during the hot summer months. However, if you do some research and gather information about your particular AC unit, you might be able to come across some commonly used hacks that could not only keep your air conditioning in the fine fettle but also save you decent money on electricity bills. Also, keep in mind that during the summer alone, many homeowners spend at least $200 to $300 to cool a single room. Below are some air conditioning and HVAC hacks that will help you and your family conserve energy and get you through the summer!
Hack #1: The Importance of Ceiling Fans
Contrary to the unpopular opinion, using a ceiling fan can significantly help with cooling down a room. On especially hot summer days, try switching on the ceiling fan as well as your air conditioning system. This will help to disperse the heat from the ceiling and better circulate cool air, so you don’t need to leave the AC running as long. A win, win!
Hack #2: Make Sure Windows and Doors are Properly Sealed
Energy is wasted and usage increases when cool air escapes from doors and windows that are not properly insulated. As summer approaches, be sure to inspect your both to ensure that they are properly sealed. This will allow you and your family to save energy on cooling and heating all year round.
Hack #3: Close The Doors At Ground Level
This is a good way of keeping the entire house cool because cool air has a tendency to accumulate in downstairs or lower leveled rooms. Keeping doors open could actually lead to more pressure on the AC unit compressor and which could lead to increased energy usage as well as electricity bills.
Hack #4: Keep Your Condenser in Good Condition
Always make sure that your air conditioner’s condenser is in perfect condition. Before summertime, consider hiring professional HVAC technicians to inspect and clean the condenser. A clogged one will certainly put more pressure on the entire AC, leading to the higher energy consumption of electricity and more wear and tear on your unit.
Hack #5: Keep Surrounding Areas Clean
If you are using a centralized air conditioning unit, be sure that the surrounding areas of the entire unit (that’s including the compressor unit, the cooling unit, the fans, and other units) are free of debris. Bushes and debris could be blocking free airflow from your air conditioner, making it less efficient.
Hack #6: Never Cut Corners on Servicing Your AC Unit
Many people who have centralized or single AC units try to save a few hundred dollars by trying various DIY (do it yourself) methods for cleaning and maintaining the units. While this might work for some minor issues, it is always advisable to hire a professional for consistent upkeep, detailed cleaning, and expert maintenance for your particular AC model. You must be sure to hire professionals who are trained and experienced with various types of HVAC services.
Hack #7: DO NOT Run Your Air Conditioning All Day Long
Although ACs are built with stability and can be run 24 hours on a hypothetical basis, it always makes a lot more sense to give your AC a break to ensure the longevity of your unit. If the nights are cool or if the mornings are comfortable, you should open the doors and windows and let fresh air inside your house before the sun hits and temperatures rise. This will decrease energy use and consumption, which will also be reflected in your utility bills.
Hack #8: Do Not Try and Thrive on Old Machines
This is one of the most common mistakes that homeowners make with their air conditioners. Typically, most people believe that it doesn’t make sense to invest the big bucks on new air conditioners. However, keep in mind that old AC units that are more than 5 or 6 years old are more often than not energy savers. Although it might not seem like it, replacing your old unit with a newer one is actually more cost-effective and could save you around 25-30% on annual electric bills.
Hack #9: Make Intelligent Use of Drapes
Drapes are not only used to protect rooms from the glaring and radiating sunlight. They also act as a barrier against the involving heat. If you want your drapes to reflect more of the summer heat, consider choosing drape colors that possess this functionality. Darker colors tend to absorb more heat, while lighter hues will reflect heat and keep your rooms cool.
Hack #10: Keep The Vents Clean
You’ll want to ensure that all air conditioning vents and ducts are fully cleaned to allow optimal air passage and efficiency of your system. This can apply all year round, not just during the summer but you’ll need to pay extra attention to them during the summer months.
Hack #11: The Problem With Dirty Furnace Filters
Dirty furnace filters need to work harder to give you the desired cooling. Although such a seemingly small part, clogged filters play a huge role in power usage and costs.
Hack #12: Keep the Condenser Unit Shaded
Also keep in mind that direct heat on the air conditioner’s condenser unit should be avoided, and nothing should block it for maximum cooling and efficiency.
Hack #13: The Beauty of Screened Doors
Screened storm doors provide natural venting, and they come in handy during cooler evenings. With one of these installed, you could turn off your AC and still feel pretty comfortable with overall temperature and airflow.
Hack #14: Go In for LED and Fluorescent Lighting
LED and fluorescent lights are known for consuming less energy, and they also generate less heat. Switching to these types of light sources can help with optimizing your living space for efficient cooling and overall better performance of your AC unit.
Hack #15: The Importance of Shrubbery and Planted Trees
there is no doubt that trees and shrubbery act as a natural barrier against radiating sunlight and heat, thus playing a big role in keeping your home significantly cooler.
Hack #16: Attic Ventilation
Proper attic ventilation is also extremely important for reducing energy use and cost. Searing heat often escapes from roofs, and if your roof is unventilated, this could make the entire home hotter and more uncomfortable.
Hack #17: Exhaust Fans in the Kitchen
Throughout the hot summer months, consider using exhaust fans as a general rule rather than when just cooking strong smelling or smoky food items. Exhaust fans help with pushing out heat from your kitchen and overall air circulation.
Hack #18: Window and Films Reflect Solar Screens
Before summer, you might also want to consider installing window films and reflective solar screens because they can go a long way in reducing the amount of heat that gets absorbed inside your living room and even your entire home.
Hack #19: Exhaust Fans in the Bathroom
Keep in mind that while your AC unit is running, exhaust fans in your bathroom should certainly be used during showers. This will help move the heat out from the bathroom rather than allowing the hot steam to remain trapped inside.
Hack #20: Keep Lamps AWAY FROM Thermostat
This is a common mistake that many homeowners often make. Throughout the summer (and year-round to reduce overall energy usage), the thermostat should be left alone and lamps or other heating sources ought to be placed away from it to ensure optimal performance of your entire cooling system.