During the hottest days of the year, many people are tempted to crank up the air conditioner in an effort to cool their homes down faster. This is an inefficient and ineffective method of cooling your home and results in unnecessary strain on your HVAC system.
How to Use an Air Conditioner Efficiently
There are many ways to use your cooling system effectively — we'll explain the following:
- How to set the thermostat - Set your home to an energy-efficient temperature and avoid tampering with it too much.
- How often to change air filters - Air filters are an essential part of your HVAC system, but do you know how often they should be replaced?
- Why you should leave your air conditioner running - When you leave your air conditioner running during the day, your home won't fluctuate in temperature as much — causing your air conditioner to cycle for shorter periods, which saves you money.
- Why you should schedule seasonal maintenance - A qualified HVAC technician can check your system and fix small issues before they become big (and costly) problems.
Set Your Thermostat to Save Money
According to the EPA, the best approach to maintaining a cost-efficient temperature is to "set it and forget it." But what should you set your thermostat to?
During summer, the ideal temperature for your home is 78 degrees. Setting your thermostat to this temperature saves money while keeping your home comfortable. For maximum savings, you should aim to keep your air conditioner operating within 10 degrees of the outside temperature.
Leave the Air Conditioner On
Operating your system at a higher temperature while you're away from home will save even more energy and money.
Let's run a scenario: You've turned off your air conditioner during a heatwave to balance the energy used in your home. The kids have been playing outside all day and come back in at lunch to grab some water and snacks. Without the air conditioner to regulate the temperature and humidity in your home, the kitchen feels like it's 90 degrees. Thinking they're helping, your oldest child sets the thermostat to a comfortable 72 degrees.
Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, but since your system has been turned off all day, it now has to work twice as hard to get the entire house down to the desired temperature.
Another scenario: This time, you leave the system on but running at a higher temperature of 82 degrees. Since the system has been cooling your home and regulating humidity in shorter cycles throughout the day, when the kids come in at lunch and adjust the thermostat, the system isn't working as hard to comply with their request.
Change the Filter Regularly
When your filter becomes clogged with dirt and debris, it will obstruct your central air conditioner's airflow. In fact, a dirty filter can increase the operating cost of your furnace by as much as 10%! Forcing air through a clogged filter during peak usage seasons (such as summer and winter) puts unnecessary stress on your unit — shortening its lifespan.
Replace your filter at least once every three months to allow air to flow freely through your system. When your system runs efficiently, it uses less energy, saving you from the financial strain of high energy bills.
Energy-Saving Benefits of Seasonal Maintenance
Just like a car will start to break down over time without an oil change, your HVAC system needs regular maintenance to perform at peak efficiency. During a maintenance visit, our technicians check your system to make sure everything is running smoothly — limiting the impact of wear and tear on the unit.
Some people assume maintenance is not an essential service — that it's only a luxury commonly recommended by HVAC companies to squeeze as much out of customers as possible. Fortunately, this couldn't be further from the truth with Standard Heating & Air Conditioning. Our Minneapolis and St. Paul air conditioning tune-ups are designed to help you SAVE money over time.
We offer specials and financing options, making it easy to afford air conditioner maintenance and more. Plus, with one-year warranties on parts and labor, you'll always get a good deal when you hire our team. Contact us today online, on Facebook, or by phone at (612) 324-1015!