As temperatures rise and energy costs soar, it’s time to unlock the secrets of running your air conditioner like a pro. With a few simple tips and strategies, you can unleash the full potential of your cooling system, slash energy consumption, prevent inconvenient breakdowns, and watch those utility bills shrink—all while staying blissfully comfortable!
Here’s what you can do to get your AC running as efficiently as possible:
Set It and Forget It
When you’re hot and sweaty, the temptation to tinker with the thermostat is strong. However, it’s best to find a temperature that’s tolerable for you and stick with it. Whether that’s 75 degrees or 82 degrees, once you’ve settled on your ideal setting, resist the urge to adjust it. Cranking your AC down to 60 degrees won’t cool your home any faster than your preferred setting of 75 degrees, so let your air conditioner work its magic at a consistent setting.
Embrace the Power of Curtains & Blinds
During warm, sunny days, keep your curtains and blinds drawn. Sunlight streaming into your home, even indirectly, can turn up indoor temperatures faster than you can say “heatwave.” Blocking out the sun’s rays will prevent your home from becoming a sauna and give your hardworking AC system a break.
Use Fans to Keep the Air Circulating
Fans aren’t just budget-friendly—they’re also an incredibly effective way to cool down any room. Ceiling fans, floor fans, and even small desktop fans can work wonders by circulating the air and bringing down temperatures. Even better, if you need some instant relief from the heat, you can position fans to blow on you directly. You may even find that with your fans in action, you can adjust your air conditioner to a warmer setting.
Banish Hot Air
When it comes to cooling your home, you don’t want to counteract your AC’s efforts by inadvertently adding more heat to your living space. If you’re cooking, make sure to use the exhaust fan to whisk away steam, smoke, and heat. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, you can use your trusty floor fan to move hot air away from the kitchen.
Use a Dehumidifier
High humidity can turn even moderate temperatures into a sticky, uncomfortable ordeal. Fortunately, a dehumidifier can help make warm temperatures feel less oppressive. You might even discover that you can dial up your AC to a warmer temperature or use it less frequently when you combine your dehumidifier with floor and ceiling fans.
Give Your Outdoor AC Unit Some Shade
Although placing your outdoor AC unit on the north side of your home is optimal, it’s not always feasible. If your unit is located in a sunny location, consider planting trees or shrubs strategically around it to provide some natural shade. This will shield your unit from the scorching South Carolina sun and help it operate more efficiently. Not only will this keep your unit cooler, but it will also prolong its lifespan and reduce energy consumption.
Save the Evenings for Chores
Cooking, using the dishwasher, and doing laundry all generate heat—so why not save them until later in the day when temperatures have dropped? By shifting these chores to the cooler evening hours, you’ll not only keep your home pleasantly cool but also potentially save money on your electric bill. With summer peak-hour electricity rates, doing your chores after the sun goes down can also help you avoid higher charges.
Clean Your Filters
The simple act of cleaning or changing your filters can work wonders for your AC system. Clogged filters force your system to work harder, leading to unnecessary strain and potential breakdowns. By keeping the filters clean, your air conditioner can operate smoothly and effortlessly, resulting in a cooler home with minimal energy expenditure.
A common misunderstanding of central AC system
It’s often thought: “If you’re not home or certain areas of your house are unoccupied, there’s no need to waste energy cooling them so close the vents in that room” OR “Only use the AC when you’re home turning it off when you are away”
Seems to make sense….right…this is a common mistake that can cost more money, add stress to your AC system and possibly introduce mold into your home. The duct system in your home is designed for your AC system to allow the proper air flow and capacity of your system. If you purposely shut off that air flow you can risk freezing your coils (which leads to future leaks) or cause refrigerant problems for your compressor. Your HVAC system will still use the same energy whether vents are closed or not. Since ducts are designed for specific air flow, shutting the vents or door to a room will not give you more air in the other spaces.
Turning your system off when you are away will cause the entire contents of your home to reach higher or lower than normal temperatures. When you return home to a house that is 8+ degrees off your desired setting and turn on your AC, you will not feel the effects of the heating or cooling until your furniture, walls, floors, ceiling, etc. in your home reaches that temperature first. This means your system will be running continuously for hours….and typically you’re tempted to set it lower than you want hoping it will change temperature faster. Setting it outside your normal temperature range will not speed up the process.
Set it and forget it is best….or adjust the range within 3 degrees of what you like, but not more.
Contact PECO Heating & Cooling For All Your Air Conditioning Needs
Whether you need AC maintenance or repairs, or you’d like to upgrade to a more efficient system, PECO Heating and Cooling is here to help you stay cool all summer long. Our HVAC experts offer a wide range of services, from checking freon pressure and testing electrical systems to repairing electrical and plumbing issues, replacing water heaters, and installing air quality systems. To protect your HVAC investment and ensure optimal performance, we also offer maintenance service plans that include regular inspections, cleanings, and discounts on repairs.
Don’t let inefficient cooling get you down—contact PECO Heating & Cooling today at (864) 639-2424!