Now that summer is here, it’s time to stay cool with your central AC. Increasing your energy efficiency means less money spent on your utilities while using fewer resources and polluting less to cool your home effectively.
Is it time to change your air filter?
The filter removes certain pollutants from the air that passes through to be cooled before it enters the room. An old air filter is not only less effective at removing dander, dust, and dirt, but it also clogs up how much air can filter through. Your AC ends up using the same amount of energy to cool a smaller volume of air.
You can replace your air filter up to once a month, depending on factors such as:
- hours used
- pets and potted indoor plants producing pollen and dander
- breathing difficulties experienced by family members
Cleaning your air ducts
Return air ducts return warm air back into the AC unit. A cleaner air duct means that you will need to change the filter less frequently. Cleaning the ducts should be left to professionals, as the last thing you want is to damage the ducts. Contaminants gather there because air itself holds dust and other pollutants, and since the ducts are piping in so much air to the cooling unit, over time lots of debris accumulates.
Since ducts are easily damaged, you should have them inspected by an HVAC professional. Leaks or punctures should be sealed. The path of the air flow doesn’t have to be air tight, but escaped air means less suction power meaning less air flowing through the cooling unit.
Using your curtains to your advantage
Curtains are great for privacy, but historically they’ve also been used to regulate the temperature inside a building. If you’ve opened the windows to let cool air inside, curtains and blinds should be pulled aside. Otherwise, in sunny rooms, closing the curtains will prevent sunlight from heating the room. Although the sun will warm the curtain itself, which will in turn warm the air in the room, only some of the sun’s light will be absorbed by the curtain.
Turn on the fan
A standing fan is best for cooling specific spots in a room, while a ceiling fan can lower the temperature of the entire room. In the summer, the fan should spin counterclockwise because that keeps the warm air close to the ceiling. On days where the heat is bearable, instead of turning on the AC, just turn the fan on.
These tips will help make the most out of your central AC while keeping your energy bill low!