How to Save Air Conditioning Energy This Summer
There’s nothing quite like a warm summer day. Something about BBQs, trips to the beach, and staying out on the porch until the late hours of the night makes this time of year feel all the more special. No matter how much fun being out and about during the summer season is, there will probably come a time when you want a break from the sunshine. When that beautiful warm day starts to become overwhelmingly hot, Entek is here to help.
It won’t surprise anyone to know that air conditioners get the most use during the summer months. It’s a given that you’ll need a ready supply of cooled air to keep your home comfortable, but the constant use of your AC can cause a huge spike in your energy usage. You know you’ll need to keep your home cool, but there’s no reason you can’t do it smartly. Here are a few tips on how to save air conditioning energy in the summer.
Be Liberal with Fans
Even if you have a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system, you can still benefit from some of the more classic methods of cooling your home. Strategic use of fans can help keep rooms comfortable over the course of the day, and it’s easy enough to do if you’re looking to save air-conditioning energy. According to the US Department of Energy, pedestal fans, window fans, and built-in ceiling fans let you raise your thermostat’s temperature by four degrees without a decrease in comfort. Just remember to turn them off when there’s no one in the room. Fans cool people through the wind-chill effect, so running them in a room with no people just wastes more energy.
Make Sure Your Home Is Well Sealed and Insulated
Whether you need to keep your home cool in the summer or warm in the winter, insulation and sealing are crucial for controlling your indoor climate. Leaks and cracks will let in outside air, pitting you in an uphill battle against the elements. Properly sealing your doors and windows and insulating your home will allow you to cool your home much more efficiently, helping you cut back on energy usage. If you are unsure if your house is up to snuff, it may be worthwhile to get an expert opinion. A trained HVAC professional will know how to save air-conditioning energy, and their advice can help you get your home operating at peak efficiency.
Use Your Windows Wisely
When you’re trying to shave a few degrees off a thermostat setting, every little thing makes a difference. The way you use your windows might seem obvious, but there’s a surprisingly high number of people who forget to take them into account. If you’re curious about how to save on air-conditioning energy, there are some basic tricks that can help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your windows.
First, ensure you have your blinds drawn during the day. It might be tempting to let all that bright sunshine in the house, but even with a perfect seal, the sunlight will heat up your home. Drawing the blinds or shades on sun-facing windows will prevent the indoor temperature from rising over the course of the day, reducing your air-conditioning use. Some blinds and shades are even specifically designed to keep out heat and light and might be worth the investment, depending on how severe the summer heat is.
Second, try to use natural cooling at night. Before you go to bed, turn off your air conditioning and open up your windows. The natural ventilation will bring in cool air over the course of the night, keeping things comfortable without having to use any energy at all. Just be sure to seal everything up again in the morning.
Avoid Using Your Oven and Other Hot Appliances
The sun may present your biggest home cooling challenge in the summer, but it isn’t the only one. When every degree counts, your appliances can push your energy usage even higher. Ovens are obvious culprits, so try to cook with your stove, microwave, or grill when possible. When doing laundry, hang your clothes out to dry instead of loading them into the dryer. You may be trying to keep the summer heat out of your home, but you might as well make use of it while it’s here.
The same goes for washing your dishes. Cleaning them by hand and letting them dry on a rack will keep your home much cooler than loading them all into a dishwasher. Finally, consider changing to more energy-efficient lighting. LED bulbs offer the dual benefit of using significantly less energy than incandescent bulbs while also running much cooler overall. Making one or two changes to your appliance usage might not make a huge difference in your energy usage, but the more you commit, the more of a reduction you’ll see.
Get Regular AC Maintenance
If you aren’t getting a regular air-conditioner tune-up, you’re just not getting everything out of it that you can. Ideally, you’ll want to have yearly maintenance in the spring to get everything running at peak performance for the summer. Your HVAC technician will be able to catch anything that may need repairs before the heat really sets in, as well as clean the system and perform preventative maintenance. They will also be able to check that your ventilation system is clear and providing unobstructed airflow to your entire home. If you want to know how to save air conditioning energy this summer, it all comes back to the system itself.
Whatever HVAC work you need done for the summer, we’re ready and happy to help. Whether you need some basic maintenance before things start getting really hot or you’re thinking of investing in a brand-new air conditioning system entirely, our trained technicians will get your home ready to weather the weather. Just don’t forget to get out there and soak up the sun while it’s here!