Summer is on the way and with it comes the heat. Average temperatures and humidity continue to rise every year, making installed air conditioning systems more popular and appealing.
Air conditioning does increase your energy costs, so it’s very important to make sure your unit is running as efficiently as possible. A/C that is running well also extends the overall life of the system, and saves you on energy costs without sacrificing your comfort.
Just like keeping your heat inside during the winter, you want to keep your cool air inside during hot weather. If your home has air leaks or is allowing cool air to seep outside or into unused areas, you are wasting energy and it’s costing you! Make sure to insulate properly and weatherize and seal any air leaks around windows and doors, through flooring, and through other building intersections. Elimination of air leaks and adequate insulation will let you raise the temperature setting of your thermostat and still remain comfortably cool because the cool air is staying inside where you want it.
The ducts that transmit your air conditioning need to be tested and sealed by a qualified contractor who knows what materials to use. Ordinary duct tape is not a good idea, and does not offer a dependable or long-lasting seal. You can save up to $300 on annual cooling and heating costs when your ductwork is property sealed.
Change the disposable filters or clean the permanent filters of your air conditioning unit on a monthly basis during warm weather. If your unit uses a permanent filter, wash it out weekly for the best efficiency and indoor air quality.
By simply raising the temperature set on your thermostat 10-15 degrees, especially when you’re out, can save 5% – 15% on your energy bills.
Programmable thermostats let you set specific times to cool your home. They help you keep your temperature where you want it, and prevent wasting energy with cooling during unnecessary hours. If you set your A/C thermostat at 78 degrees or higher you will save on energy costs.
During the cool evenings and days, be sure to open windows on the northern side of your house to let some natural cooling come in. Also be sure to close window curtains and shades on sunny days to block out any heat that can come in through those areas. Solar gain is great in winter but NOT on hot summer days!
Any appliances that produce heat like the dishwasher, oven or clothes dryer will increase the temperature inside and cause your system to run longer and work harder than it needs to.
If you can, put the compressor (the part that blows waste heat outside) in a cool, shaded place. Also make sure to clear weeds, foliage and any debris away from the unit, and make sure nothing blocks the coils on the back of the unit.
Turn off or use the recycle setting on your air conditioning during peak daytime hours, when electricity is the most expensive.
Having your air conditioning system inspected and cleaned every year will reduce breakdowns, keep it running at maximum efficiency, and extend the life of the unit. It’s a nominal cost compared to the cost of an emergency repair call!
There are several points of maintenance that an HVAC professional can do that homeowners simply can’t. We check, clear and clean the condensate drain line, check all electrical components, check the refrigerant levels, and inspect and lubricate all the moving parts.
Regular A/C tune-ups also improve your indoor air quality, your indoor comfort level, validate manufacturer warranties, and lower energy bills.
Warm Waters is here to inspect and clean your current A/C or help you get you the right system installed for your building. We participate in EnergyStar and Efficiency Maine programs so a new system will not only save you in its efficiency, but you may qualify for additional rebates.