Spring has definitely arrived, and if you’re living in the Bay Area, you know it’s certainly heating up! If you haven’t broken in your air conditioner yet, you’re going to soon enough. Here are some important things to consider before you start cranking that air conditioner full blast.
- Have your air conditioning unit tuned up before the heat starts soaring. Tuning up your equipment will ensure it is running at optimal efficiency, which will save you dollars.
- Keep your thermostat consistent. A fluctuating thermostat is highly inefficient. When you leave the house, however, feel free to turn up the degree setting a couple of notches to conserve energy and dollars. Each degree you raise your system by will cut back your consumption by 3-5%.
- Keep your curtains and shades drawn. This will block out a good portion of the sun’s radiant heat, and lower your air conditioning costs.
- Turn your “fan mode” on when cooling the house. This prevents hot and cold pockets from forming by continually circulating the air.
- If you’re in a two-story house, set the air vents upstairs to receive 75% of the air. This will help even out the distribution of the air between the first and second floors.
- Plant trees or install awnings to provide additional shade that will block the sun’s radiant heat from penetrating your house.
- If you have an attic, install an attic fan. Attics can get extremely warm, and can ultimately heat up the second floor of your house, making your air conditioner work harder to keep the house cool.
- Run a dehumidifier in the basement. This will make your entire environment much more comfortable, and you won’t feel you need to turn up the air conditioning to prevent from feeling “sticky”.
- Ensure that the air conditioning units have at least 12-18 inches of obstruction free space surrounding their area. Cut back any bushes or shrubbery that may be intruding, and make sure the area is free from any grass and dirt debris. This is necessary to maintain proper operation of the unit.
- Install weather stripping and caulk to prevent cool air from escaping.
- Avoid using your oven, dishwasher, and dryer during the day. These appliances will inevitably heat up the house, which will put more of a demand on your air conditioner.
- Keep windows and doors closed when your air conditioner is on.
- Use a programmable air conditioning unit to effectively change the thermostat’s temperature according to the time of the day to prevent overspending.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a more “comfortable” summer with more money in your pocket!