We all joke about Ohio weather, but the midwest summer does eventually roll around – and it’s been brutal. While this year isn’t expected to be quite as intolerable as past summers, we’ll all still be running our air conditioners for a large portion of the warmer weather; but a lot of common A/C habits can run up your electric bill. There’s no reason to spend excess income on staying comfortable when you don’t have to – there are plenty of ways to lower energy consumption and keep your electric bills down while enjoying a cooled home on sweltering days.
1. Don’t set your thermostat too low. The longer it runs to reach that set temperature, the more energy it’s using to get there. Then it has to try to maintain that rate, which means when it shuts off, it won’t be for long. Try to set the thermostat so that it’s as warm as you can stand without being uncomfortable – your wallet and your sweat glands will thank you.
2. Use a fan to circulate the cool air. Fans already work by moving stagnant air around a space to create a cooling effect; so when paired with actual conditioned air, it does twice the work. The cooled air will also reach the furthest recesses of room or area much faster and arrive at the ideal temperature quicker, which means your A/C unit will run for less time; and while fans still draw electricity to power themselves, it’s at a drastically lower rate than an air conditioner.
3. Make sure your A/C unit is clean. Dirty air conditioners have to work harder to run properly, which draws more energy. Some quick maintenance will get it back to its regular efficiency.
4. Keep appliances away from thermostats. Thermostats contain temperature sensors which communicate with your heating and air conditioning units. Appliances like TVs and lamps give off heat; if one is located too close to a thermostat, it will pick up on the heat being produced from the appliance, and send a message to the A/C unit to keep generating cooler air until the temperature it’s sensing reaches the one you have it set to.
5. Make use of programmable thermostats. If you have one, use it. Raise the whole-home temperature while you’re away so the unit isn’t consistently performing – there’s no reason to cool an area for hours on end if you’re not there to feel it.
If you notice that your unit isn’t running at peak performance or if your energy usage is still higher than normal, let us know, and one of our trained technicians will be happy to help.