Updated July 24, 2023
With summer heating up, you’re probably looking forward to coming home to a cool, comfortable house. It’s no surprise that your air conditioner will play a major role in your comfort this season, but what may be a surprise is your energy bill. Summer is one of the most expensive seasons in terms of energy usage. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks you can use to get the most out of your air conditioner.
Here at Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we know exactly how to keep your home cool without blowing out your budget. With the right mindset and planning, you can balance comfort with performance and savings. Continue reading to see how to get the best use of your AC this summer:
1. Stick to a Steady Temperature
As the summer temperature fluctuates during the day, you may feel the need to move your thermostat up or down a few degrees. Try to avoid doing this if you can. That temporary burst of cool air has a steep price in terms of energy and efficiency. It also strains your AC, which can cause reduced performance and premature component failure. Instead, your AC is happiest when it’s programmed to work within a certain temperature range each day. During the summer months, a temperature of 78 degrees is the “sweet spot,” according to the Department of Energy. At this temp, your AC will be blanched perfectly between performance and efficiency.
2. Program Your Schedule
If you have a programmable time, you can customize your cooling needs to match your schedule. For example, you can set your AC to rise by a few degrees or shut off entirely during the day when you’re at work or school. You can then schedule your AC to lower itself back into a comfy temperature zone when you arrive home. You also have the option to modify your AC’s schedule at night when you’re sleeping. If you tend to get chilly at night or enjoy being piled under blankets, you can raise your thermostat by a few degrees. This will ensure you have a more comfortable night’s sleep and save a couple of dollars on our energy bill.
3. Use Your Air Conditioner Sparingly
The best way to maximize your energy savings is to use your AC as sparingly as possible. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole summer sweating. Instead, setting your AC to the recommended 78 degrees and moving it down 1 degree at a time until you’re comfortable. This will ensure your home isn’t radically cooler than it has to be.
4. Use Fan Settings
On days when the temperature is pleasantly warm instead of scorchingly hot, you may not have to use the cooling setting at all. Instead, you can use the fan setting to circulate air throughout your home. Simply switch the thermostat from “cool” to “off,” then switch the fan setting to “on” or “auto,” depending on your comfort needs. This will create a nice breeze and freshen up your indoor air without cooling down your home unnecessarily.
5. Zoned Air Conditioning
Zoned cooling is a more recent development than the programmable thermostat, but hand-in-hand they can completely revolutionize your cooling experience. Zoned air conditioners only pump cool air into certain areas of your home. For example, at night, you can set it to cool your bedroom or second story. In the morning, you can switch over to cool the main living area of your home instead. Zoned cooling is an excellent way to make sure you’re only cooling the occupied areas of your home.
6. Take Advantage of “Auto” Mode
Your thermostat should have three fan settings: auto, on, and off. Intuitively, you may think “on” is the most practical setting, but it’s actually the hardest for your HVAC system to handle. It can also easily lead to unusually high energy bills. Instead, flip the switch to “auto” mode. This gives your thermostat the flexibility to decide when the fan should kick on. Once your home is cooled to your ideal temperature, the fan will turn off until it’s needed again.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
Humidity has a huge impact on how the air around you feels. If your home has a high humidity level, it will automatically feel hotter than it would with less humidity. This will result in you turning down the AC a few notches to combat that muggy, overheated feeling. You can take the pressure off your air conditioner by investing in a de-humidifier. These are small, portable devices you can pick up at most local hardware stores. Dehumidifiers suck the moisture from the air and deposit it into a small tank which you can pour into your garden. The result is your home feeling much cooler without having to even touch the thermostat!
8. Keep Doors and Windows Closed
A summer breeze drifting through an open window sounds nice in theory, but your AC will struggle to accommodate that extra hot air. It’s recommended that you turn off your AC if you plan to have windows and doors open. To take your savings a step further, you can also close doors to unused rooms in your house to keep the cool air centralized to your living space. Pulling down window shades in the afternoon will also help deflect away sunlight that would otherwise heat up your house.
9. Freshen Your Filters
The state of the HVAC air filter plays a huge role in your air conditioner’s performance and efficiency. Dirty filters cause your AC to work harder to pump air through the system. This leads to increased wear and tear, more frequent repairs, poorer performance, and higher bills. Summer is also the time of year that’s harshest on air filters. During summer, we recommend changing your filter once a month. You may want to check it even more frequently if you have pets or live in a high pollen area.
You can further boost your money savings this summer by investing in a reusable air filter. Instead of throwing them away, you simply rinse them off to get them clean.
Top Air Conditioner Company in Norcross
To get the most of your air conditioner this summer, be sure to follow the tips we outlined above. You can also take your AC’s performance and efficiency to the next level with a yearly tune-up by Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. During the tune-up, our technician will clean and calibrate your system, ensuring it’s ready to tackle the summer heat. Our family-run business has provided top-notch air conditioner service to homeowners in Norcross since 1989. Our heating and cooling services include reliable maintenance, repairs, and replacements. We’re also proud to provide professional plumbing services, duct cleaning, insulation, and air purification. It’s our goal to be your one-stop-shop for all of your home comfort needs!
To learn more about how to get the most from your AC this summer, call us today!