5 Plan-Ahead Tips for Staying Cool This Summer
Here are five ways to reap the benefits of your central air conditioning system this summer when the heat index is soaring:
Be sure it’s sized correctly. If your system is too small, it will run continuously without effectively cooling or dehumidifying. On the other hand, a system that’s too big will turn on and off too often–quickly cooling your home but leaving you feeling cold and clammy. A professional air conditioning contractor can help to determine the proper size for your home.
Don’t use registers to control the temperature. When you close doors or vents in individual rooms in an effort to control their temperatures, you interfere with the airflow balance of your home and create pressure in your system, making it work harder. This actually increases your energy bills and places strain on your air distribution system.
Keep it maintained. Ninety percent of all air conditioner breakdowns are the result of little or no maintenance. If you haven’t had an inspection performed recently, your system is probably not operating at optimum efficiency.
Don’t crowd the outdoor unit. Keep shrubs pruned and at least two feet away from the outdoor unit on all sides. Air must be able to circulate freely through the coils and out the top of the unit for your air conditioner to run efficiently.
Leave it on, leave it alone. People tend to turn the air conditioner on only at night to save money. Turning the system off lets heat and moisture build—and wastes a lot of electricity trying to cool your home at night. Instead, set your thermostat at 75⁰ to 78⁰ F when you’re home and 80⁰ F when you’re not. Don’t turn it off since it costs more to cool the house down than if you had just left it running at a higher temperature.
For more information on how to save energy with ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov.
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