How to Use Air Conditioning Efficiently
If you are looking for ways to save energy you need to find ways to reduce your air conditioning costs by cooling your home as economically as possible. To do this, you must learn how to use your air conditioner wisely and also learn how you can utilize additional methods of cooling your home.
One of the most important ways to reduce your energy cost is to only run your air conditioner when you really need it.
->Keep your air conditioner turned off or at least to a higher setting, when you are not going to be home. Most air conditioners can make rooms comfortably cool within a half an hour. If you have a window air conditioner, you may want to get an air conditioner timer, which is available at most hardware stores.
->For central air conditioning units, you should install a programmable thermostat so you can program the temperature to adjust to a comfortable range before you arrive home. You can also adjust the setting to be a few degrees warmer at night and use fans to help you keep cool while you sleep.
Set Thermostat to Reduce Air Conditioning Costs
->The next most important thing is to set your air conditioning thermostat for the highest room temperature that you find acceptable. You should feel cool during the summer when your room temperature is about 78°. If you can remain reasonably comfortable at a slightly higher temperature, then by all means set it slightly higher.
->If the outdoor temperature soars to an extremely high mark, it is wise to make your home no more than 15° cooler inside. That means that if it’s 95° outside, you would still find relief at 80° indoors. For guidance on using air conditioners which do not have numerical thermostats, keep a thermometer on the wall of your room and read the temperature level frequently to make the proper adjustments.
->Be sure to only cool the parts of your home that you are using. Close off doors to rooms that are not in use. Keep doors to basements and second floor rooms closed as well. Close blinds and curtains to reduce radiant heat that comes in through windows. Consider using window energy films, which are designed to block heat gain from the outside summer sun. Energy Film™ is easy to install and can help you save 12-18% on annual energy costs
How to Take Care of Your Air Conditioner
->Be sure to remove and wash filters at least once a month in room air conditioning units. Other filters must be discarded and replaced by new ones. The most important time to replace a your filters is at the beginning of the air conditioning season. The condenser coils and fins can become dirty and clogged. After 18 months of operation, an air conditioner can lose from 10 to 27 percent of its efficiency because the condenser gets dirty. Follow the instructions in your owners manual for taking care of your air conditioner. For whole house units, an annual checkup by a service technician is highly recommended.
->Place window air conditioning units in a central location in a wall in a room (the middle instead of a corner window). If possible, choose a shady- or north side- of your home or apartment.
->Keep blinds and drapes closed on the sunny side of the house. Avoid putting furniture, drapes or curtains where they would block circulation of air in front of the air conditioner. Unnecessary lights waste electricity, add heat to the room and make the air conditioner’s job harder.
->You can also reduce your cooling costs by using fans throughout your home to keep the cool air circulating. Ceiling fans can also be very helpful. In hot weather, the fan’s direction of rotation should be set so that air is blown downward (Usually counter-clockwise. The blades should lead with the up turned side as they spin).
->Provided the ceiling fan is properly sized for the room in which it is operating, the efficiency of the moving air can actually exceed that of an the air conditioning unit. Therefore, for peak efficiency, you can set your air conditioner at the lower fan setting and let the ceiling fan do the work of circulating the air.
These are just some of the ways you can save energy and reduce air conditioning costs. Adding insulation, weatherstripping and energy efficient windows are other concerns you may need to consider. Everything you do to save energy will also help you have a greener home which is good for the environment!