If you have ever faced shock, dread, or even physical pain from seeing the amount due on a summer energy bill, you know just how much of an impact running your air conditioner can have. Sure, it helps your home feel cooler, but is a little discomfort really that much to stomach in exchange for sparing your wallet from a little bit of additional pain? You shouldn’t have to choose between comfort and affordability, and you don’t really need to as long as you follow a few simple tips and best practices.
Believe it or not, the majority of people do not actually know how to properly run their air conditioner in order to maximize efficiency and performance while also saving money. If you’re looking to save money this summer, this blog is for you—here are a few simple best practices for running your air conditioner that could radically improve your savings this summer.
Utilize Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are a great way to stay cooler in your home without the huge energy cost of constantly running your air conditioner. In fact, ceiling fans use only the tiniest fraction of the energy that your central cooling system does, but they can still immensely improve your overall comfort. In fact, studies have shown that a ceiling fan can make a room feel up to ten degrees cooler inside than the actual ambient temperature.
Depending on outdoor temperatures and the time of day, running a ceiling fan lets you turn the setting on your thermostat up, which in turn uses less energy. For example, if you typically set your thermostat at 72 degrees, consider setting it at 75 and turn on ceiling fans in the rooms you are using throughout the day. Your energy bills will drop and your home may actually feel more comfortable than it did before!
Change Your Air Filter as Needed
The increase in temperatures means an increase in workload for your air conditioner, and that means an increase in debris becoming trapped in your air filter. During peak season of summer, your air conditioner is going to run more, and that means you will have to change your air filter more often. Not doing so can have dire consequences for your air conditioner, including causing increased inefficiency, wearing out important components like your compressor and blower fan, and even causing your cooler to freeze over from time to time.
We recommend checking your air filter once a month, particularly during peak operating season, as you might be surprised just how quickly an air filter can fill up. We also recommend keeping a few spare air filters on hand so you can change yours as necessary. Do not continue to run an air conditioner with a dirty filter or with no filter at all, as this can cause serious damage to your system.
Set Your Thermostat Appropriately
The overwhelming majority of homeowners actually do not set their thermostats appropriately, notably those with two-story homes. If you live in a multi-story building, you’re probably keenly aware of the fact that upper floors get far hotter and are far harder to cool than lower floors. Thus, the majority of the energy you spend on cooling should be focused on these areas. If you have the ability to heat and cool your floors independently (which many do), then follow these simple instructions to see a notable difference in your energy costs this summer.
Set your thermostat on your upper floor to your ideal target temperature. Then set your lower floor thermostat to a temperature two degrees warmer. This will allow the warmer air from your upper floor to be cooled properly, and the cooler air will slowly fall to the lower floor where it will further cool these spaces. Thus, the warmer air will be cooled more effectively, and you will use less energy in order to achieve significantly more even cooling results.
Use Nights to Your Advantage
Finally, nights provide you with welcome relief from the sweltering heat of the day, and it’s a great idea to put this cool air to work keeping your home comfortable. Opening windows allows you to refresh the air in your home and get rid of built-up odors and stale feelings. It also can help you get rid of hot, stuffy air that has become trapped in your home.
We recommend opening several windows in your home for 15 to 20 minutes every day, preferably during evening hours when temperatures are cooler and the impact on your energy loss will be easier. Furthermore, installing a whole-home ventilation fan can actually expedite the air exchange in your home and make your home feel cooler all while using only a tiny fraction of the energy that a central cooling system does.If you need help with your air conditioner this summer, pick up the phone and call the team at Pyramid Heating & Cooling! Dial (503) 783-8488 today to request an appointment.