When summer rolls around and the temperatures start soaring, it can often cause your air conditioning costs to soar through the roof—almost literally! It seems as if you have to choose one or the other: staying comfortable in your home or staying comfortable financially.
However, this is not true. It is truly possible to maintain a cool home for you and your family without completely breaking the bank. You just have to have a few tricks up your sleeves in order to do it. So here are a few simple and easy ideas that you can quickly start implementing as soon as the temperatures start rising. Note that these all work together rather than one idea working alone.
Raise Your Thermostat Setting
During the summer, your thermostat should be set to a temperature as high as you can comfortably stand it. When you are at home, an ideal temperature would be 78 degrees when you need to cool the house off. Then, when you leave home, raise the temperature back up. Ultimately, the goal is to keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as small as possible.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t set your thermostat to a cooler temperature when you first turn your air conditioner on. This does not make your unit cool your home any quicker, and it could result in unnecessary expenses on your end.
Keep Your Air Filter Clean
When your air conditioning unit is operating with a dirty air filter, it is going to have to work extra hard to push cool air through the filter, increasing energy costs. Not only should you make sure that you have your AC unit professionally inspected and tuned up every year, but you should also change the filter regularly.
The filter should be changed every few months, but during the summer when the air conditioner is heavily used, you may want to consider changing it every month. The Department of Energy says that clean filters can reduce cooling costs by 5 to 15 percent.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats simply make your life easier. You can program the thermostat so that it will start cooling your home off roughly 30 minutes before you are set to arrive home from school or work, and you can set it to automatically warm up during the hours you are away from home.
In addition, a programmable thermostat can reduce heating and air conditioning costs by as much as 10 percent annually.
Provide Some Shade for Your AC Unit
Believe it or not, providing some much-needed shade for your AC unit can help it stay cool, and in return, lower your energy bill. When your air conditioning unit gets too hot from the sun beating down on it, it has to work harder in order to cool down the air in your home. By ensuring the AC unit has shade, you can lower the surrounding temperature by up to nine degrees.
So how do you shade your air conditioner? You can do this a few different ways. You can purchase an AC cover that is specifically designed for AC units. Just make sure that the unit still has plenty of room to breathe; otherwise, you may do more harm than good. Alternative options are awnings, porches, and trees that provide full or partial shade for the AC unit.
Schedule a Pre-Summer Tune-Up
By following the simple tips above and keeping up with the maintenance of your air conditioner, you can ensure that your air conditioner is ready to tackle the sweltering summer temperatures when they arrive.
Contact the professionals at Advanced Heating & Cooling today to schedule a tune-up or the installation of a programmable thermostat. Let us help ensure that your air conditioning unit stands the test of time.