Tips for Reducing AC-related Energy Use During Summer

thermostatAs you might already know, HVAC system is a huge energy hog, and the climate change is not helping. The weather switches from winter to summer very fast, and the spring season when we don’t have to run either heat or AC is getting shorter and shorter. Discount Appliance Repair is here to help you get through the summer without blowing up your utility bills.

Don’t ignore the spring AC maintenance

As we covered in one of our previous posts, it’s important to inspect your AC equipment and tune it up after the winter ends. Such seemingly simple tasks as removing dust, debris and changing filters may greatly improve your AC’s efficiency during the hot summer months.

Avoid blasting your AC

Don’t turn it down lower than 78 in summer when you are home and keep it at 86 when you leave. If you are one of those people who can’t stand heat and attempt to recreate winter conditions during the summer months, you’ll just have to learn to compromise if you want to save money. Keep the fans on to help the air move and don’t dress warm – if you are wearing a jacket or even a long-sleeve shirt indoors, it means your AC is set too low.

Keep the curtains closed

Windows are a major source of heat, so try to keep the shades or curtains closed during the afternoon hours. If you have exterior shading options, such as shutters or (retractable) awnings, don’t forget to use them.

Take advantage of the cooler days

Not every day in summer is scolding hot – sometimes we get nice breezy days when it’s actually cooler outside than it is indoors. Use these rare moments to turn the AC off and enjoy natural coolness. If it’s not too humid in your area, you could sleep with open windows and completely eliminate the night-time AC use.

Calibrate your thermostat

Your efforts to keep the costs down won’t work if your thermostat is reading the temperature wrong. This often happens when the thermostat is located in a spot where the temperature is not the same as in the rest of the home (next to a heat source or in a sunny spot). Our Virginia HVAC repair technicians can help you determine whether your thermostat is well-adjusted and is in the right place.

Consider a few upgrades

If you know your HVAC system is more than 10 years old and your home in general have never been upgraded to meet the modern energy efficiency standards, you might want to make a few changes:

-    Invest in an Energy Star HVAC equipment and a digital programmable thermostat to get more control over the heating and cooling schedule.

-    Install a whole-house fan in the attic to keep the house cool at night without the help of AC.

-    Reduce the amount of heat coming through your windows by strategically planting trees, applying shading film or installing outdoor canopies and awnings.

-    Insulate your home and seal the ductwork to avoid any leaks that would compromise the efficiency of your AC.

If you follow all these tips, you should be able to reduce you AC-related energy use by as much as 10 percent, but even a small effort would help lower your utility bills. And if you need HVAC or other appliance repair in Reston, Va., be sure to keep us in mind.