Running your air conditioner is one of the largest draws of electricity in your home over the summer. Use these six tips to help reduce how much you pay while keeping your home cool and comfortable.
1. Change Your Filter Regularly
Start by making sure to change your HVAC air filters regularly. When they get clogged, air can’t flow into your system, so you don’t receive enough cool air. Clogs also increase electrical resistance, causing the system to use more power for every minute that it runs.
Common 1- and 2-inch filters need changing about every 30 to 90 days, depending on your usage habits and air quality. Plan to check the filter monthly and gently vacuum off the intake side when you do to help improve your system’s efficiency and extend the filter’s life.
2. Use Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans don’t reduce the temperature in your home at all. However, the air movement creates a windchill effect, causing the air to be more comfortable at higher temperatures. Keeping your home’s temperature even 2 or 3 degrees higher can make an impact on your energy consumption.
3. Use Thermostat Programs
There’s no need to keep your home at a comfortable temperature when you’re not there to enjoy it. The Department of Energy found that you can save up to 10% off your annual cooling expenses by lowering the temperature in winter, or raising it in summer, while you’re gone. Digital thermostats have program features that allow you to automate this temperature change so you don’t forget. Alternatively, you can install a smart thermostat that will develop a program based on your usage.
4. Draw Your Blinds
While large open windows are desirable to bring in light and give you a view of nature, they also let in a lot of heat, causing your AC to work harder. Close your blinds or curtains on windows that receive direct sunlight to help decrease solar radiant heating.
5. Mind When You Do Household Chores
The chores you need to do around the house can drive up your home’s temperature and humidity. Whenever possible, wait to do chores like dishes, major cooking projects, and even laundry until after the heat of the day.
6. Pay Attention to Signs of AC Problems
Finally, pay attention to subtle signs that your AC has a problem and needs repair. When any component within the system isn’t working properly, it strains the rest of the system and consumes more energy. Signs to pay attention to include:
- Short cycling
- Less air coming from the supply vents
- Frozen condensing coil or refrigerant lines
- Excess indoor humidity
- Bad odors while the AC is running
- Unusual AC noise like hissing banging, rattling, humming, and buzzing
At Big Sky Plumbing & Heating, we’re passionate about keeping homes around Helena, MT comfortable. Contact our team to schedule air conditioning service to make sure you’re not inadvertently driving up your cooling costs.