If you’ve lived in the Bowling Green area through even just one summer, then you know how stifling hot it can get, and how much you’ll be using your air conditioner. So long as it is properly cared for through comprehensive maintenance and prompt repairs when necessary, it’s durable to handle that heat—but what happens when you find yourself paying more than you thought you would in order to cool your home?
Barring any problems with your air conditioner—which should be resolved through maintenance and repairs—there are some simple steps you can take to boost the efficiency of your system and subsequently spend less money while using it. What are these steps, you ask?
Don’t Set Your Thermostat So Low!
We get it—you’re hot and you want to cool off, fast. The problem with this is twofold. One: Turning your thermostat down as low as it will go actually does not cool down your living space any faster. It only makes your compressor run longer to reach that temperature.
Many homeowners set their thermostats down to 70-71 degrees when in reality, most people are comfortable at about 77-78 degrees. This is what we recommend setting your system’s temperature to during the day.
Check for Any Obstructions
We’re talking about the area around your outdoor unit, as well as indoors in front of room vents.
The outside unit of your air conditioner is called the condenser cabinet, and it is charged with exhausting the heat it removes from your home. Each side of the condenser unit should be clear from debris by about a foot. Debris can include things like leaves, lawn mulch, dirt, and even tree branches. This all obstruct airflow, which can disallow the unit from properly doing its job.
And the outdoor unit isn’t the only part at risk. Your indoor vents could be dusty, or can get blocked with things such as furniture, backpacks, toys, etc. This will negatively impact the airflow coming into your home, leading to less comfort for your household, and a cooling system that has to work way too hard to do its job.
Change the Air Filter
The air filter that comes with your HVAC system upon installation is there to protect said system and the blower fan from dust and other debris that get drawn in through the return air ducts. After a month or two, the filter gets too congested and needs to be replaced, or cleaned if it is a permanent filter. Otherwise, the blockage of airflow will, again, cause your system to have to work harder.
About That Maintenance
If you haven’t scheduled your pre-season maintenance, there is no time like the present. It’s never too late to schedule a tune-up (in the absence of a total system breakdown, of course) and in fact it’s more important that you have them done routinely than it is you have them done during a certain month.
That said, if you’re using a heat pump system to cool and heat your home, then you want to have maintenance done twice a year.