The official end of summer may be drawing near, but for Texas residents, we know there isn’t much relief from the heat. Therefore, you’re probably grateful if you have a fully functioning air conditioning system—life can be pretty unbearable without one! Hopefully, you had yours maintained at the beginning of the season so it’s less likely to experience problems.
Still though, even with maintenance, you may not be using your air conditioner as efficiently as possible, and therefore might be spending money you don’t need to. There’s good news, however! There is something you can do about it. And no, we aren’t going to say, “just replace your air conditioner” (although, if yours is more than a decade old, let’s start talking about an upgrade).
Raise the Temperature
You’re probably scratching your head at this one. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you’ll make your home hotter than it needs to be. However, you may be turning your thermostat settings down much lower than necessary to maintain home comfort.
Some homeowners, for instance, turn their thermostats all the way down to 72° when in reality, most people can stay comfortable at 78°F throughout the day. In addition, you can save energy and money by raising the temperature when you aren’t at home, or while you are sleeping. There’s no need to waste unnecessary energy by cooling a home that is not being used, or by lowering temps far more than you actually need to.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
You may have seen us talk about ceiling fans before—they cannot cool a home on their own since they do not lower the temperature. However, they can make you feel cooler. This is because they help sweat evaporate from your body, which is how you keep cool naturally. On a mild day, all you might need is a ceiling fan to keep cool.
But when you are using your air conditioner as well, ceiling fans help to push cool air down, and keep warm air rising. Therefore, paring your ceiling fans with your cooling system enables you to run that AC system at a higher temperature, thereby reducing your monthly bills.
Change Your Air Filter Regularly
The air filter that comes with your HVAC system upon installation can get clogged up with dust and debris over time, which makes it harder for the air to circulate through your home, and therefore harder for your AC system to keep you comfortable. Your system can malfunction or freeze up as a result. Be sure to change your air filter every 1–3 months during periods of use to avoid this problem and keep the system operating smoothly.
Keep the System Clean
Cleaning your outdoor coil is part of professional maintenance—and a part that should never be skipped. If dirt and grime are allowed to build up on the coil, it won’t be able to allow the exchange of heat from the inside air to the outdoors like it is meant to. This will lead to a drop in AC performance and efficiency.