3 Ways to Enjoy Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning This Summer
Even in Alabama’s hot and humid climate, it’s possible to reduce the energy you use to run your central air conditioning (AC) system. Here are three ways to cut your summertime power needs while you stay cool.
1. Schedule a Preseason Tuneup
Central air conditioning units require very little in the way of maintenance. As long as you change the filter every few months, your AC unit will give you years of fresh air. However, if you want your AC unit to operate the most efficiently and last as long as possible, a bit of maintenance beyond filter-changing is necessary.
Your AC unit has parts that must be checked and cleaned to ensure the reliability of your system. It may not seem that a mechanical part can affect energy usage, but dirty parts don’t move smoothly or allow optimum air flow. Lubricated parts and unclogged ducts allow for proper mechanical movement, optimum air exchange, and lower energy usage.
Because there are so many parts to inspect in an AC unit, it’s best to let a professional HVAC company handle your preseason checkup. During the inspection and cleaning, the AC pro will do the following:
- Empty the drain pan
- Tighten all fittings
- Clean condenser coils
- Inspect and repair electrical connections
- Test blower motors and fans
- Test for refrigerant levels
- Check ducts and other AC components
Unless you’re familiar with all of the above parts, you save hassles and money letting an expert prepare your AC system for summer. The pros notice and repair problems with your system ahead of time, so you have a fully functional AC system before hot weather hits. When your AC unit runs properly, it uses less energy, too.
2. Reduce Extra Heat Sources
Your AC unit can only do so much to keep you refreshed when the weather is hot and sticky. Help out your AC unit by reducing sources of heat in your home. Use drapes that block out the warmth from sunny windows. Hang laundry to dry on a line outside, or only use the clothes dryer in the cool of the night.
Serve cool meals like salads and sandwiches that don’t need heat to prepare. Set up an outdoor kitchen with a grill and cooktop, and move dinner prep to the back deck or patio. Avoid using the oven or stovetop in the hottest part of the day.
When possible, upgrade your old windows and doors. Seal up cracks around your home, and beef up insulation in your attic and crawl space. These energy-aware actions make it easier for your AC unit to keep your home cool on steamy days.
3. Be Smart With Hot-Weather AC
Another way to help your AC unit is to adjust the thermostat to accommodate timing and temperature changes. On cool evenings, you don’t want the maximum chill. There’s also no sense overcooling a residence when no one is home to enjoy the feeling.
Install a programmable thermostat that you can set to your preferred temperature and schedule. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the AC system to a higher temperature while you’re at work. Then the timer lowers the temperature so the house is cool by the time you return home.
Smart thermostats can be accessed from your phone or other device. With this option, you can turn the AC off from the airport as you leave for vacation.
Or switch on AC for guests when you have to work a few minutes extra at the office. When you employ your smart device, and don’t overuse your AC unit unnecessarily, the appliance lasts longer while it saves you energy.
Contact Alabama Climate Control Inc. to schedule your preseason AC inspection in the greater Huntsville area. We offer experienced installation, repair, and maintenance of AC systems by our licensed and bonded HVAC techs.