As summer temperatures rise, we depend on our HVAC systems to keep homes cool and comfortable. Unfortunately, this cool, conditioned air can quickly add up in terms of energy bills. Learning to use your A/C in the most efficient way possible helps lower summer cooling costs and allows you to have more money for some fun in the sun. Consider these five tips for managing your cooling costs this season:
- Thermostat settings: Though the instinct may be to set and forget the thermostat, adjusting it throughout the day helps prevent the A/C from overworking. Set the thermostat higher when no one is home and while you are sleeping. The home will stay cool, but use less energy. Installing a programmable thermostat will allow you to automatically adjust the thermostat throughout the day.
- Ventilation: Proper ventilation reduces stress on the A/C, reducing energy usage. Be sure attic vents are not blocked to allow rising, hot air to escape the home. Use the bathroom fan to remove heat and humidity following your shower.
- HVAC maintenance: Schedule annual HVAC cleaning and maintenance to help the system work efficiently. Remove dust buildup in filters and ductwork. A trusted HVAC professional can clean condensing and evaporating coils. These simple maintenance tasks improve A/C energy efficiency and result in lower cooling costs.
- Outdoor airflow: Giving the air conditioning unit the proper clearance helps prevent it from overheating. Cut down grass, remove dense plantings and clear out debris. For maximum efficiency, maintain two feet of clearance on all sides of the outdoor unit and five feet above the unit.
- Windows: During the day, prevent sunlight from warming the home by drawing the drapes and closing blinds. East- and west-facing windows capture the most sunlight in the home, warming up the rooms. Installing window awnings or retractable sun shades helps keep windows shaded without compromising natural light.
For more information about reducing cooling costs, contact Around the Clock Air Conditioning and Heating. We service the greater Los Angeles area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about reducing cooling costs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.