Air conditioners can certainly be a burden on your summertime utility bill. During the summer months, an air conditioner typically uses more energy than any other source of household electricity. But, you can save money and energy this summer by avoiding the following mistakes:
1. Turning Down Your Thermostat Too Fast
We get it – sometimes the summer heat is unbearable and there is nothing more refreshing than walking into a cool home after being outside. However, if you crank your thermostat down too low and too fast, you’ll wind up paying the for it. If your house it too warm, turn the thermostat down gradually. If you turn it down several degrees at a time, your air conditioner will have to work harder, and thus use more energy.
2. Having Heat Near Your Thermostat
Make sure your thermostat isn’t installed near any heat-generating appliances like lamps, televisions or other equipment. These heat-generators can inadvertently drive up the temperature readings on your thermostat and cause your A/C to kick on when it shouldn’t.
3. Using Fans Incorrectly
Use your ceiling fans wisely and as a supplement to your air conditioner. During the summer, make sure that your fans are pushing air downward by switching them to rotate counter-clockwise. Downward airflow creates a wind chill effect which will help the cool air circulate throughout your home and ensure that your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. Use your exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms sparingly. Exhaust fans can actually push cool air out of your home.
4. Improper Placement of an Outdoor Unit
Making sure your outdoor air conditioner unit is installed in a safe and efficient spot is crucial to ensuring that it works efficiently. Air conditioners should be installed in a shady spot on the north or eastern side of your home, so that it will receive the least direct sunlight.
Don’t hide your outdoor unit with shrubs or plants. Out-of-control greenery can make air conditioners run less efficiently by clogging condenser coils or hindering ventilation.
5. Leaving the A/C Running All Day and Night
Using a programmable thermostat is the most efficient and cost effective way to heat and cool your home. During the summer, set your thermostat to start cooling before you get home from work or being out, instead of leaving it running all day long.
6. Buying an Incorrectly Sized A/C Unit
An air conditioner that’s too big for your home won’t cool it down any faster. Oversized units will only run inefficiently and cycle on and off more quickly. If the unit is too big for your home it won’t generate consistent temperatures and won’t reduce humidity as effectively.
7. Neglecting Regular Maintenance
Ignoring air conditioner maintenance can have a huge impact on it’s ability to run efficiently – plus, neglecting maintenance can lead to bigger more expensive problems if left unchecked.
Your air conditioner needs a filter change every 30-45 days during warm months. By replacing the filter, you’re helping prolong the life of your air conditioner and lowering it’s overall energy consumption by 5-10%.
Yearly maintenance, performed by one of our HVAC professionals, is one of the best ways to prevent major problems and make sure that your A/C is running at it’s most efficient capability.
If you’ve made one too many of these A/C mistakes and find yourself in need of an HVAC professional, we’re here to help! Columbia Heating and Cooling offers 24 hour maintenance and repairs for any brand of air conditioner. We also offer FREE estimates for any replacement unit in order to help determine which products and services are the best solution for your home. Give us a call today to learn more.