One of the most common questions that our customers are likely to ask is in regards to how to make their air conditioner operate better. Of course, by that, they usually mean to ask us, “How can I be more comfortable, and pay less for that comfort?” In other words, you want to know how to cool your home more affordably. This is completely reasonable!
With the official start of summer right around the corner, now is a great time to start exploring this question and the many answers we have for you. Of course, we can’t continue this blog post without first mentioning the #1 way to ensure your air conditioner works efficiently, and therefore costs you less to operate and performs better, is through professional maintenance. This service allows our technicians to thoroughly inspect, clean, and adjust the various components in your system, and should be done once a year.
Read on as we uncover what you can do in addition to maintenance, to improve comfort and lower your monthly utility bills.
Raise the Setting on the Thermostat
We get it–this probably sounds like very weird advice. Why would you want to make your home hotter than it should be? Well, actually, many homeowners make their home colder than it really needs to be. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends a thermostat setting of 78° to conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint. And the truth is, most people are comfortable at that setting.
Still though, we see folks setting their thermostats around 71-72°F in an attempt to make their air conditioner work faster. All it really does though is make the air conditioner run longer, which is very inefficient.
You can save energy, and ultimately save money, by raising the temperature on the thermostat to this more reasonable setting. It can also help you if you raise the temperature when you’re not home or when you’re sleeping.
Use Your Ceiling Fans!
Here’s the deal. Ceiling fans cannot lower the temperature of a room. So then, why are we mentioning them? Hang tight with us and we’ll explain…
Ceiling fans help you feel cooler. This is because the movement of air allows sweat to evaporate off of your skin. This is also why it’s so hard to cool off on excessively humid days–the added moisture makes it harder for your sweat to evaporate. So when you use your ceiling fans in combination with your forced air AC system, then you will feel cooler, and can turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees–therefore using less energy.
Change Your Air Filter
Did you know that the air filter that comes standard in your HVAC system is in place to protect that HVAC system? It keeps dirt, dust, and other debris from getting inside and damaging sensitive components. Many people think this air filter is in place to protect their indoor air quality, but it’s actually protecting your air conditioner.
That said, when it gets too clogged up, airflow going into your air conditioner from your home gets restricted. Your air conditioner may have to essentially “work harder” (run longer) to try to compensate. As you can imagine, this eats up a lot of energy! Depending on the type of filters you have and the level of contaminants in your home, you’ll want to switch out this air filter every 1-3 months.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help your air conditioner operate better, i.e. more efficiently and affordably! Please reach out to our team with any questions you might have.