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The age of information has brought with it an age of myths and partial truths. Knowing the myths from the facts, and understanding the way some so–called tips conceal the whole truth, is a valuable lesson in learning more about the way your cooling system actually works. For customers who are eager to make their air conditioning systems more energy–efficient and cost–effective, some of these may come as a surprise. Remember to consult a professional about any cooling concerns during the spring and summer months.
- The higher the SEER rating of my AC unit, the higher my total energy–efficiency. The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) measures how efficiently the system can cool the living spaces. While it is true that units with a high SEER rating often significantly cut air conditioning costs, there are other factors to consider. For example, if your ductwork contains leaks or is clogged with dust and other debris, your cooling system will still suffer energy loss due to lack of airflow, no matter how efficient your air conditioner is.
- Blasting my AC at the hottest parts of the day is the best way to keep my home cool. While this is at least partially true, the best way to ensure that your home stays cool throughout the day is a more moderate thermostat schedule. Ensuring that your home is properly insulated, including the duct system and the areas of the house through which it runs, means keeping that cool air inside, and reducing energy costs. What’s more, blasting your AC is not an efficient use of the system: it costs more money and energy than relying on gradual shifts in temperature.
- Fans cool the air. Fans do not necessarily cool air, but they do help by moving air around in a given space. Ceiling fans can be useful to help with ventilation but aren’t as affective as central AC.
- Duct tape seals ducts. Your central air system relies on extensive ductwork to circulate cool air throughout your home. Sealed ducts are therefore important to keeping your home cool and your system efficient. Despite its name, duct tape does not actually seal ducts very well. It was created as a temporary fix. Contact a professional to have him use a proper sealing material.
- Turning up my thermostat when I leave the home helps to reduce air conditioning costs. Well, sort of. While it’s better to raise the temperature of your cooling system during the day when you’re not there, rather than turning it off completely, but the crucial considerations are for how long and exactly how much of a temperature differential. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you’ll benefit the most from this technique only if it is done for at least 8 hours and for no more than 5 degrees. Otherwise, it does not make a substantial difference. Keep in mind that multi–stage heat pumps are also designed to save energy in this way, so raising the thermostat would actually make your heat pump less efficient.
As summer approaches, most homeowners are thinking of ways to save energy this cooling season. Air conditioning your home accounts for a substantial portion of your utility bills every year, but there are numerous ways you can save some money during the spring and summer months.
- Install energy–efficient shower heads. This is a great way to save money in the long–term. Installing an efficient shower head can save you from paying for thousands of gallons of water during the lifetime of your home.
- Replace light bulbs with CFLs. CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Light bulb. It is an energy–efficient alternative to conventional incandescent bulbs, which lose most of their energy by rapid heat dispersion. In CFLs, electricity powers argon and mercury vapors, which makes a phosphor coating glow inside the bulb, with very low heat loss. Although they cost more to purchase than standard bulbs, they use less about 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
- Dress appropriately. Wearing cool, breathable clothing during the hot summer months can help prevent your body from overheating during the cooling season. It may also help you to depend less on the low temperature of your home. Dress the season.
- Schedule a maintenance program. Comprehensive maintenance plans are an excellent way to save energy this cooling season. Your local cooling and heating technician will perform a full inspection of your various systems and consult with you about any necessary repairs. Replacing air filters, cleaning the internal mechanism of your AC unit as well as the ductwork can significantly improve the rate and quantity of airflow, and also keep your system in top shape.
- Install a programmable thermostat. A thermostat communicates with your central air system to adjust the temperature to your specification. A programmable thermostat offers you to customize your indoor climate: you can set the temperature for times of the day and days of the week according to your specifications and then sit back and watch your system follow the instructions. Not only does it save you time and give you peace of mind, but it also means less rapid adjustments to the temperature, which can result in increased energy costs.
- Upgrade to a more efficient air conditioner unit. This is obviously a much larger step, but it may help you save money in the long–run, particularly if your unit is over 10 years old or if it requires frequent repairs.
Apple Heating & Cooling services these areas:
- Kirtland Hills
- Waite Hill
- Willoughby Hills