Tips for Being More Energy Efficient in the Summer

The summer simply gets too hot to survive without an air conditioning unit, but many people have concerns about the cost and environmental factors of running their A/C units all summer long. There are little changes you can make in your A/C using habits that can go a long way, though, in terms of both cost and energy usage. Before the season of heat rolls around, keep these tips in mind.

 

Less is More

If you’re buying a wall air conditioner, don’t think that buying a bigger unit will be your best bet. There are plenty of charts online that tell you how powerful of an A/C unit you need for the size room you wish to cool. If you’ve got a unit that’s too large and powerful for the room, it’s going to work harder for essentially no reason, costing you money and wasting energy.

 

See the SEER

If you’re in need of a new central HVAC unit, then check the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or the SEER and look for one with a rating of 13 or higher – 14 if you live in a particularly hot area. The more efficient the system is, the lower your energy bills (and usage) will be. Don’t be put off by the fact that more efficient units come with bigger price tags; the savings on your energy bills will help the unit to pay for itself.

 

Maintenance is Key

HVAC technicians don’t provide preventative maintenance routines for nothing. If you are regularly replacing the filter and, on central units, having them professionally maintained, you’ll find that the unit will run more efficiently. It’ll also help prevent significant issues from occurring, therefore saving you from costly repairs.

 

Those are the big ones. These small adjustments will add up, too:

  • Don’t turn on your window unit until you get home / install a programmable thermostat for your central unit.
  • Have central units located in a shady spot.
  • Shade your home with trees, if possible, to prevent sun infiltration.
  • Use dark drapes to block out the sun and keep the house cooler so that your unit doesn’t have to work overtime.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated and your attic properly ventilated so that cool air stays in and hot air leaves.
  • Use ceiling fans instead of A/C on cooler days.
  • Grill instead of using the stove or oven so your A/C doesn’t have to compensate.
  • Don’t leave the lights on when you’re not using them.
  • Turn off heat-generating electronics, like computers, when not in use.
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