Here are a few ways you can minimize strain on your air conditioning system while also keeping your home’s interior at a comfortable temperature;
Don’t Waste Energy While You’re Away
Cooling an empty home while everyone is away at work or school is only going to put undue wear and tear on your HVAC unit. If you have a programmable thermostat you can set it above your normal temperature while you’re gone, and set it to begin reducing the temperature shortly before you typically arrive home. That way, the temperature is comfortable while your family is home, but your HVAC unit isn’t working unnecessarily while the house is empty.
A good rule of thumb is to set the thermostat about 5 degrees higher than you’re typically comfortable with, keeping in mind that most HVAC units are only capable of keeping your home about 10 degrees cooler than the outdoor temperature. If you typically keep your home at 78 degrees, you can change it to 83 while you’re away. Even if the outdoor temperature reaches 93 degrees, this is still a reasonable temperature for your HVAC unit to work towards. You can help your HVAC unit out by keeping blinds and curtains closed while you’re away so that sunlight doesn’t cause excess heat.
Check Your Seals
Checking the seals around doors and windows, as well as insulation throughout your home, is an important step to making sure that the cold air your HVAC unit is creating doesn’t leak out and hot outdoor air doesn’t leak in. The reason your unit can only keep temperatures about 10 degrees cooler than the outdoor temperature, is because regardless of how well your home is insulated the warm air outdoors will always be able to find a way in. This is why it’s important to check and replace weather strips that are no longer creating a tight seal and to have your ductwork inspected to ensure that there are no leaks.
Reduce Strain on Your Unit
In order to keep your unit running efficiently, and therefore saving you money on both your utility bill and on surprise repairs, it’s important to ensure that your system has had spring maintenance and is ready to go. Make sure the area around the outdoor unit itself is kept clear so that your unit can take in enough air, and you’ll want to change the air filters regularly for the same reason. Some people are under the impression that they can save money and make their HVAC unit more efficient by closing vents in rooms that aren’t used often. This practice can actually have the opposite effect and put more strain on your unit.
The key to saving money on your utility bill is to make sure your HVAC unit is in prime working condition and that you take steps to ensure that you aren’t doing anything to make your home more difficult to cool. If you have concerns about the efficiency of your HVAC unit, contact East Coast Heating & Air Conditioning to all of your maintenance and repair needs.