Air Conditioning Tips
The following air conditioning tips can help keep your system working in peak condition and to keep your energy costs as low as possible during the summer.
Set your thermostat between 78 – 82°F.
It has been shown that for every 2°F below this range, your electrical costs increase by about 15%. It will also probably cost you in repairs as well, because a system that is used more heavily will break down sooner.
Use the advantage of cooler nighttime temperatures.
In the days before air conditioning, most homeowners knew that if they opened up the house and let in as much of the cool evening air as possible, it would make the next day more tolerable. The goal was to cool the home off, then close it back up before daytime temperatures started to rise.
You can use a similar strategy with your air conditioner. When you know the next day is predicted to be very hot, get a jump on the day by cooling your home during the night. The following day, the air conditioner won't have to work at hard trying to keep the temperature down.
Make sure your ducts aren't leaking air.
Ventilation modifications can save you anywhere from 17 to 35% on your electrical bill when ducts are sealed up. If your home is already well insulated and sealed, you will experience less energy savings than someone whose home is poorly insulated and poorly sealed, but you will still experience energy savings of between 5 to 10%.
There are common areas where ducts tend to leak especially in mobile homes. Sleeve connections, end caps and floor registers are all common spots where joints may allow air to escape.
If your summer energy bills seem to be excessively high, it can be well worth hiring a contractor to perform a duct pressure test. This will identify whether you have leaks in your air conditioning supply ducts. Once these have been identified, the tech can provide you with a quote for how much it will cost to bring your home's duct system into energy–efficient status.
Check your attic insulation.
During the summer, more heat is absorbed through the roof than from any other exterior surface, including windows. Make sure your attic is both properly vented and insulated. Insulation can keep the heat from the sun out and keep the cool air where it belongs. The vents give the attic hot air a place to escape.
Check your condenser coils.
Dirty air conditioner condenser coils run your energy costs up and shorten the life of your air conditioner. Make sure that both the indoor and outdoor coils are kept free of dirt and debris. The free flow of air through the system is vital.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust indoors. You may use a water hose, but make sure it puts no pressure on the exterior coils. Avoid any chemicals, as they can cause corrosion if you use the wrong kind. If you see any bent fins, use a fin tool to straighten them.
If you discover that your coils are extremely dirty, we recommend that you hire a professional. Careless work can cause very expensive damage. A licensed and bonded contractor will make sure your air conditioner is ready to perform all season long.