Maximize Your A/C Efficiency Maximize Your A/C Efficiency Maximize Your A/C Efficiency Maximize Your A/C Efficiency Maximize Your A/C Efficiency Maximize Your A/C Efficiency
For our SoCal residents, it’s been roughly 3 months since the government initiated the stay-at-home order due to COVID-19. Many people have made comments that summer for 2020 is canceled. Nonetheless, with NIR Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we know one thing is for certain: Summer may or may not be canceled, but the summer heat is never canceled. With that in mind, now is the opportune time to learn how to maximize your air conditioning unit!
We all know the discomfort associated with being cooped up in your unintended hothouse on a hot summer day. Situating your couch in front of the open refrigerator door as an attempt to stay cool because your air conditioner isn’t working properly or you want to save money isn’t ideal for most people. With all of us inevitably becoming homebodies, we’re looking for the most simple and effective ways to maximize our air conditioner unit without having to break our bank!
At NIR Plumbing & Air Conditioning, we have many years of experience providing customized and preventative repairs to the City of Riverside and surrounding areas! If you’re looking for easy ways to maximize your air conditioner while at home this summer, look no further…this blog will give you pointers on how to stay cool and make the best use of your air conditioner during your stay-at-home. We’ll begin with the basics of how you can maximize your air conditioner efficiency then provide some more advanced methods for all of you dangerous folks!
Did you know: If you set your air conditioner thermostat cooler than 78 degrees, your energy use increases by 8 percent with each degree increase. Want 77 degrees instead of 78? There’s an 8 percent increase in energy use. 76? 16 percent…
Close your windows. Close doors. Close your curtains and blinds. Maytag reminds us that conditioned air can easily escape outside when windows, doors, curtains, and blinds are open. If you need to air out your home, turn your air conditioner off. It’s not your job to cool the neighborhood.
Also, keep in mind that when the sun directly hits the windows in your home, heat is inevitably going to affect the glass. Keeping your curtains or blinds closed can keep some of the heat from warming the inside of your home. Specific curtains such as thermal blackout curtains are designed to trap heat in during the winter and keep light and heat out during the summer, so investing in some could act more efficiently than standard linen, cotton, or lace curtains.
Avoid the sun on your air conditioner. This might sound like a no-brainer, but many of us didn’t install our own air conditioner unit so we’re not fully aware of its location and how it might be affected by the heat of the sun. Remember that our machine has to work harder if the powerful rays of the sun fall on it during peak temperature times.
If you really want to maximize your air conditioner efficiency from the very beginning of the installation, pay attention to the location. The ideal location for an air conditioner unit is on the north side of your home. While this may not be practical in every case, the general idea of keeping the unit out of the sun can be achieved in other ways.
Turn on a Fan: Electric fans. Though the world loves its advanced technology, a good ole’ fan still can get the job done. Don’t get us wrong—we over at NIR love our air conditioners, but when it comes to trying to get the most out of it especially if you plan to be home most of the summer, sometimes we have to go back to the basics.
In more temperate climates, you can turn the air conditioner off at night and let ceiling or floor fans do all the work. The fact of the matter is that the energy used by fans is far less than that of air conditioners. If you live in a warmer climate, fans can still provide a comfortable breeze at night and may allow you to set the air conditioner above 78 degrees saving a great deal of energy. Fans can also help move cool air around the house to ease the workload of the air conditioner.
Save chores for the right time, including doing laundry and using the oven (Yes, kids…this means you don’t have to wash the dishes just yet). While cooking can heat up the kitchen, so can using the dishwasher to dry the dishes. Clothing dryers located in the house can have the same effect.
You want to avoid using your dryer and oven in the hottest hours of the day. In line with the tip above to save chores for the right time, when it comes to laundry and baking, such tasks could cause warm air to be drawn into your home as a result of the heat that needs to be released with these appliances.
Coolray reminds us that these tasks are better left for evening time when the sun is down and the heat is significantly decreased. If possible, leave these tasks for evening or early morning when the heat isn’t at its prime.
Move your appliances away from your air conditioner thermostat! This includes lamps, TVs, computers, and other heat-producing appliances. Having heat-producing appliances near the air conditioner thermostat will tell it that the air in your home needs to be cooled more. Of course, this isn’t actually the case; what your thermostat really detects is the heat from your plugged-in appliances. Still, it will pick up exaggerated heat readings when it’s near those items which can cause the system to run longer and work harder than it may need to.
Clean around the outdoor unit. Your outdoor unit will work most efficiently if it is clean and clear of debris. Landscaping does more than make your yard look nice. By planting shrubs or trees around your air conditioning unit, you can help it cool your home more efficiently. The shade from this landscaping can also be used to keep the sun’s direct rays off of your home. This article on Clark homes reminds us to not plant anything that will block the access panel where the unit needs to be serviced and keep 2-3 feet between whatever shading you have and your unit so that it is accessible for maintenance and repair. If a more thorough, in-depth cleaning is needed, be sure to contact a professional to complete the task.
Thermostat tips & tricks.If you’re one of those who are out and about during lockdown (maybe you’re still going to work or need to make many, many grocery runs because you like honey), turning your air conditioner off or your thermostat up when you’re not home is simple yet helpful. If you raise the thermostat 10-15 degrees on days when you’re out, you may be able to save up to 5-15 percent of your energy bills. Thanks, Edison, for doing the math!
You could also install a programmable thermostat if the whole manual thing is just too much work for you. The good thing about programmable thermostats is that you’re able to select appropriate times to cool your home, even if you don’t remember! It’s recommended that you set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher when the air conditioner is in use because anything cooler than 78 degrees increases your energy use by 8 percent. Thanks again, Edison, for doing the math!
Don’t Skip Out On Your Annual A/C Inspections. Sometimes, you’ll need to call on a professional to help keep your home cool.
When it comes to keeping your home cool in the summer, there are some simple things that can be done. However, sometimes you’ll need to call on a professional to help get the job done. If you find yourself in need of air conditioning services and repairs, contact the NIR team! Having a licensed HVAC professional conduct a thorough cooling system inspection and cleaning once a year could literally make or break your air conditioning unit and coolness.
At NIR, we understand that we can’t go to the sun and turn it off. However, we have more practical, affordable, and understandable options for helping you keep your cool in the midst of the heat. We do the whole heating and cooling system from ductwork, air filters, humidification controls, registers, and the exchange of fresh outside air into the circulation of the inside air within a building (commercial or residential).
It’s best to be proactive as opposed to reactive when it comes to the maintenance of your home, and that includes the air conditioning unit. We recognize that the summer heat has invited itself into all of our California homes and it doesn’t care whether you’ve claimed 202 summer cancellation requests or not…it’s here to stay. Tossing ice cubes on top of the pillowcase before you lay down or sobbing in a “cold” shower because you loathe the wave of heat that will flood you once you step out doesn’t need to become your reality this summer.