For many people, the summer heat can be stifling. Having a place to turn to in order to escape is necessary for comfort and even for health. Unfortunately, using air conditioning can cause already high energy costs to rise exponentially. When the warm summer months are on the horizon, we may begin to wonder how we can use their air conditioning without having extreme costs. Are there more efficient ways to use air conditioning in Franklin? Is it possible to use air conditioning without breaking the bank? The good news is, no matter what type of air conditioning unit you have, there are ways to use it more efficiently to maximize results and minimize costs. Whether you have a split or ducted system, wall units, or a portable AC, there are a handful of tips that you can employ to ensure efficient air conditioning. Best Practices for Efficient Air Conditioning Making sure that you have an air conditioning unit that works great, keeping your home cool and your bills low, is essential. When the summer heat is here, an effective air conditioning system can mean the difference between sweltering heat and pleasant indoor temperatures. There are many things you can do to ensure that your air conditioning unit works efficiently. While there are important things to consider, such as the best air conditioner to use in your property, there are many other tips you can follow for running your AC and saving energy. Choose the Right Air Conditioner The air conditioner that you choose has a huge impact on its efficiency. There are many aspects of air conditioning units that determine the way they work. When you are looking for the right AC, you will want to make sure and take these factors into consideration: Energy Use Check out the energy information of any air conditioning unit you’re thinking of buying. You should be able to see the cooling/heating input and output power consumption of every model you look at. Compare that with the size of your space to determine the energy usage you’ll get from the unit. Size The size of your AC unit is one of the most important factors in regard to efficiency. Units that are too small will have to work extra hard in order to cool down the area. The harder the unit works, the more energy it consumes, which drives your costs up. Even a unit that is too big will increase your energy costs. This is due to constant turning on and off as the result of shorter cycles. With the right-sized unit, you can also reduce any needed air conditioning repair in Newton. Model and Speed Drive While it’s possible to make every type of air conditioner more efficient, certain models are simply more efficient than others. For the most efficient AC, choose an inverter model, such as a split system that has a fan motor with a VSD installed. The VSD is a variable-speed drive. This is used to automatically slow the speed of the compressor, which should be able to slow down when it doesn’t need to cool things as quickly. Energy Rating Energy-efficient air conditioning units should have a SEER rating that energy efficiency throughout the seasons. While older systems currently installed in many homes may have SEER ratings of 8 or 9, the minimum SEER rating for today’s models is 13. It’s not uncommon for some manufacturers to produce models with SEER ratings in the 20’s. The higher ratings will be more efficient units, but if you’re replacing your older 9 SEER system with a new 14 SEER, you will already see savings on your system’s energy use. Tips for Using Your AC Cool (or Heat) Smaller Areas Your unit will work better if it’s not working too hard. One of the best ways to prevent your AC from overworking is by minimizing the space that needs cooling/heating in each area. By closing the doors to rooms where the temperature doesn’t need adjusting, as well as sectioning off vents in those rooms, you are allowing the AC to work at full power in areas that need it while preventing the AC from working where it’s unnecessary. Keep Doors and Windows Closed When doors or windows are left open as the AC runs, the hot air easily enters the home while the cool air just flows outside. This means you are basically paying to cool the outdoors while the indoors just get hotter and hotter. Not only are you wasting money and energy by letting your air escape, you’re also using way more energy than you need to. With the cool air flowing out and the warm air flowing in, it’s impossible for the temperature to hit the right spot. Instead, the AC just keeps on running. Don’t Set Your AC Too Low Many people think that if they set the thermostat to a very low temperature, the house will cool off much faster. However, this is a misconception, and setting the AC too low can cause it to overwork. Keep in mind that the smaller the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the lower your energy costs will be. Use Economy Mode If your AC has an economy mode, use it as a way to reduce your energy usage. When you turn the economy mode on, you’re activating a more moderate means of controlling the temperature. Use Zoning Options if You Have Them Certain air conditioners have zoning options. This setting allows you to set your AC to only have airflow into certain areas of your home, thereby reducing the work of your unit and maximizing efficiency to the areas you choose. Set the Fan to Turn Off When the Compressor Turns Off When you set your thermostat to “auto,” the fan turns off at the same time as the compressor. This prevents your AC from continuously running. To maintain a nicer environment, use fans in various rooms. Open Windows at Cooler Times of Day (when possible) While you’ll want to have your windows closed during the hot parts of the day, it’s good practice to open them up in the morning and evening when it’s cooler. This provides ventilation and allows you to get some fresh, cool air into your home. It also sets each day off on the right foot. With cooler air indoors, you’ll get a jumpstart on the day’s heat. Use Fans Using fans in your home, in conjunction with your air conditioner, can make your system more effective. The fans help to push the air around each room, distributing the cooler air throughout the house. Keep Internal Heat Sources to a Minimum Internal heat sources in your home, such as clothes dryers, ovens, lights, and more, add to the heat that is collecting inside, making it harder for the AC to cool the house down. When you don’t need to use things that radiate heat, turn them off. Only Use AC if You Have to Don’t run your AC if you don’t have to. If no one is going to be home for a prolonged period of time, turn the air conditioning system off. Don’t spend the money and energy to cool an empty building. Though be mindful of temperatures if you have pets at home. Keep Area Around AC Clear Both the interior and exterior portions of your AC unit must be clear. Don’t store things around your vents or your outdoor unit. Regularly clear debris from around your air conditioner to ensure proper functioning. Program Your Thermostat if Possible If you have a programmable thermostat, use it. Keep your AC unit on a timer so that it doesn’t run when no one is around. Set the thermostat to turn on before people get home or arrive at work and turn off automatically when the AC is no longer needed. Inspect Your Air Ducts If you have a leak in your ducts, the cool air will escape in the roof, preventing the air from cooling your home. Regular inspections and maintenance will help you discover if your air ducts develop a leak. Air conditioning service in Franklin will help you find leaks or other issues that could be affecting your AC. Have Proper Insulation Keep your home properly insulated in ceilings, roofs, and walls to reduce the amount of heat that gets into your home during the warmer months. You can also insulate your air ducts, which will further reduce heat transference. Use Window Shades The sunshine and warmth from outside can heat up your house and make it more difficult to cool your home. Hang curtains, blinds, shades, or tint your windows in order to prevent the warm air from shining in from the outdoors. This will help to keep your home a bit cooler. The Final Word In order to keep yourself comfortable and cool during the summer and other periods of heat, you need a properly working air conditioner. Unfortunately, running an inefficient AC regularly can use loads of energy and cost a lot. By following this handful of tips, you can maximize your AC unit’s efficiency, eliminating your need for air conditioning repair in Newton, as well as reducing your costs and lowering energy usage.