Nothing feels as delightful as opening your door on a sweltering hot day and being greeted with that blast of refreshing cool air. If your air conditioner is more than a few years old, you may be dreading the day you open the door and don’t feel that welcoming blast of cool air. You may also find that your older unit is working harder to cool your space, or isn’t cooling it as effectively as it once did. Here are some tips for reducing the load on your AC unit while keeping your home cool and comfortable.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
If you don’t think your ceiling fan offers much cooling power, think again. Before air conditioning was commonplace, ceiling fans used to do the job all by themselves. The fan’s breeze can make a room feel as much as five degrees cooler, which lets you raise the thermostat and reduce the load on your AC unit. In fact, running a ceiling fan during hot weather can shave as much as $30 a month off your utility bills.
Close Shades and Blinds
We all know that we shouldn’t leave pets in the car with the windows closed because the temperature can easily rise to lethal levels when the hot sun streams in through the windows. That same principle works in your home as well. Closing shades and blinds on hot summer afternoons can lower the indoor temperature dramatically and reduce the load on your air conditioner. This is true even if no one is in the house, so it’s a good strategy to close the blinds before you leave for work in the morning so you can come home to a cooler house. The newest technology includes smart programmable blinds that can raise and lower themselves as needed.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is another great option for easing the load on your AC unit. There’s no reason to keep the house cool while no one is home, and a programmable thermostat will never forget to adjust the setting during the day while you’re gone. The latest trend is smart thermostats that learn your habits and adjust themselves as needed. Programmable thermostats can trim $180 a year from your power bill.
Service Your Unit
Changing the filter often is important, but there’s really no substitute for having a professional service technician maintain your unit each season. This service includes lubricating and cleaning the moving parts, checking all belts and connections, and verifying that everything is operating as it should. Annual servicing will not only help your unit last longer, but it will also keep it running more efficiently.
Improving your home’s cooling efficiency will keep your family cooler all season. At the same time, these tips will reduce the load on your air conditioning system, so you save money on your power bills and your whole HVAC system lasts longer. You can count all the money you’re saving while you sip lemonade under your ceiling fan.