Spring is here, which means that summer is just around the corner! Is your AC prepared to keep you cool through these warm months? You can stay cool all season long and save money on your energy bill with these 6 expert tips to maximize your air conditioning’ efficiency.
1. Replace Your Air Filter on Time
How is your air conditioning supposed to run efficiently if your air filter is clogged with dirt, dust, debris, and pet hair? The mass of dust in your filter doesn’t just put your indoor air quality at risk. It also creates a barrier between your cool air and the rest of your home. We recommend changing your air filters every one to three months, as needed, to improve your air conditioning efficiency. Depending on how quickly your air filter clogs with debris will determine how frequently you will need to change them. Factors such as indoor pets can increase the need to swap out your air filters with fresh, clean ones.
2. Seal Up the House
One thingthat keeps your air conditioning from performing its best are air leaks. Air leaks can be obvious, like the front door being left open for too long, or they can be very discrete. Here are a few tips to make sure your home is properly sealed:
Keep Windows & Doors Shut
On breezy days, you can give your air conditioning a little break by shutting it off and letting nature do its thing. Opening the windows can be a great way to ventilate the cool air outside. However, on hot days, you’ll want to keep the windows shut. Go around and make sure your windows are completely closed – even the slightest crack can impact your air conditioners efficiency.
Just like windows, make sure your doors are completely shut and are not open for an extended period of time.
Long story short, if your AC is running, keep doors and windows shut to increase efficiency.
Find and Seal Air Leaks
Even with all the doors and windows closed, air leaks are still possible. You can find them in wall cracks, in spaces between the weather-stripping or sealant and the wall, and particularly in your attic. Just think about it, all that cool air your AC is producing isn’t staying inside your home, it is escaping through the areas that are unsealed. In turn, this makes your AC work harder than it needs to which can result in increased utility bills. Hunt for all the air leaks and seal them up to create less work for you AC this summer. These leaks can sometimes go undetected. This is where you can call a professional to find if you indeed have leaks you are unaware of.
Update Your Insulation
Creating a thicker barrier between your home’s interior and the outside world can be a great help to your air conditioner. One sign that it is time to replace your insulation is if you have an older home that still has the original insulation. However, if you are unsure, our experts can come out to access your insulation and offer you upgraded replacement options if needed.
3. Get a Smart Thermostat
Unlike traditional thermostats, smart thermostats do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. You can program them to change the temperature settings while you’re away at work or shopping for supplies. Smart thermostats can be managed through your smart phone, so you can control the temperature of your home even when you aren’t there to make sure you aren’t wastingcool air on an empty home.
Fun Fact: Nest thermostats (smart thermostats) have saved customers, on average, 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. That’s a lot of savings!
4. Minimize the Heat
This sounds like common sense: When it’s hot outside, minimize the heat inside. Right, of course. But so many of our daily indoor chores and activities require heat sources that we don’t even think about. Here are a few tips to minimize the heat inside your home:
Keep hot lamps away from your thermostat
You might not realize this but your thermostat has sensors in it that tell it when to kick the air up when it’s set to “auto.” If you have anything hot near your thermostat, it’s going to “think” that your home is hotter than it actually is and crank the AC. Keep lamps away from your thermostat and turn off any lightbulbs that might be near it to allow your AC to run more efficiently.
Invest in thicker blinds or blackout curtains
Your roof does a lot to protect your home from the sun’s wrathful rays, but it doesn’t offer any protection over your windows. Natural light can be a great saver during cooler seasons, as it allows you to turn off your overhead lighting, but in the hot seasons, it heats you up. Replacing your miniblinds with 2-inch wooden blinds or covering your windows with blackout curtains can really help reduce heat that comes through your windows.
Wait to cook at cooler times
It’s lunch time, and your little one is craving a grilled cheese. Mid-day, however, is when the sun is highest in the sky and also when temperatures are at their highest. The last thing your house needs is for you to add to the heat by lighting up the stove. Save the cooking for later in the day, when the temps are cooler.
5. Remove Air Vent Blocks
In the same way that a clogged air filter can impede on your AC’s efficiency, so too can blocked air vents become an obstacle for a fully functioning air conditioner. There are 2 major things you can do to make sure your air vents are open and clear, so your AC doesn’t have to try to cycle cool air through debris.
Make Sure Nothing Is Blocking the Air Vents
Air vents are located in strange places sometimes: in the floor, low on the walls, in the ceilings. With that in mind, it’s easy to block the vents with rugs, furniture, and curtains. Make sure all the air vents are open and able to blow air into each room.
Keep the Air Vents Clean
Just as dust settles over your home as times passes, your air vents will also collect dust – and dead bugs and dust bunnies and hair clumps. Sounds yucky, right? Your air vents need to be cleaned in order for your AC to run efficiently. Unscrew the vent grills from the wall, ceiling, or floor, and then vacuum the tunnels.
Not to mention, clean air vents can help improve your indoor air quality!
6. Schedule Your Annual AC Tune-Up
If your condenser is clogged with dead leaves and other debris, then it’s going to have to work a lot harder to cool your home. Luckily, part of our 30-point AC tune-up is cleaning your HVAC condenser. Schedule your annual AC tune-up to have the condenser professionally cleaned. Our Bell Brothers experts are always here to help! Call us today and ask about our specials.