Keep Your Cool

by J on July 31, 2010

With most of the US in meltdown mode this summer from the extremely hot temperatures, many homeowners find themselves running their air conditioners nonstop. It makes for more comfortable living but, of course, uncomfortably high energy bills. Putting into practice a few simple tips may help you to maximize the efficiency of your air conditioner.

  1. Keep your curtains closed when the sun’s rays are beating in during the hottest part of the day.  It seems like a small thing, but it does make a difference in the temperature of the room. Then in the evening, follow the reverse of this. Open the drapes to allow the heat to escape through the windows of your home.
  2. Try setting your AC thermostat at 78 degrees. As any air conditioning service will tell you, don’t think that lowering your thermostat will cool your home more quickly. It won’t. Your home will lower to 78 degrees in the same amount of time whether your thermostat is set at 78 degrees or 70 degrees.
  3. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in an article entitled Residential Energy Efficiency, for every degree higher than 78 degrees that your thermostat is set, you will save about 4 percent in operating costs.
  4. If you live in a climate that cools down at night, try shutting down the air conditioner and just using ceiling fans or floor fans. The fans use less electricity than does the air conditioner.
  5. Save some of the chores that cause heat to build up—such as running the dishwasher and cooking—for the cooler times of the day. Run the exhaust fan when you’re cooking to help disperse the heat.
  6. If possible, try to shield your outdoor air conditioning unit from the direct rays of the sun.  One way to do this is by planting some trees or tall shrubs to cast shade on the unit.
  7. If you have a whole house fan, turn it on at night weather permitting—usually when there is low humidity and the temperature goes below 78 degrees.  Then turn off the fan in the morning before the heat starts to build up.
  8. Make sure you have your air conditioning contractor perform regular service calls on your unit. Keeping your unit clean and in top shape will help it to run more efficiently.

Following these simple tips may help you keep your cool when the rest of the world is hitting record high temperatures!

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