Here are some great money saving tips to help keep you cool during the hot summer months.
Set your Thermostat Properly
Setting your thermostat properly can help you save money and energy. In the summer, set the thermostat at the highest temperature at which you are comfortable. Douglas Mechanical Services suggests an average setting of 78 degrees for summer cooling. Keep in mind that when you are using your air conditioning system, your operating costs will increase 3% to 8% for each degree you lower the temperature.
While continuously adjusting your thermostat setting can be inefficient, you can consider raising the temperature in your home 2-3 degrees during the day while you are away to save money. Talk to a Douglas Mechanical Services technician about installing a programmable thermostat which can automatically adjust the temperature at set times throughout the day. You should also set your cooling system to "fan on" mode to keep the air in your home constantly circulating for an even distribution of cool air.
Control Direct Sunlight
If you keep the sun out by closing window shades or blinds, you can help to increase the efficiency of your central air conditioning system. Consider installing exterior awnings or planting shade trees by the southern facing windows of your home to keep the hottest summer sun from beaming right into your house. The less amount of heat that gets in from the sun, the less work your cooling system will have to do.
Install an Attic Fan in your Home
During a typical hot New England summer, your attic can reach temperatures upwards of 140 degrees! This high temperature can put a strain on your cooling system, and could make the top floor of your home uncomfortable. Ask a Douglas Mechanical Services technician about installing a temperature controlled exhaust fan in your attic to allow this hot air to escape. Doing so can help save you money and wear and tear on your cooling system.
Use a Dehumidifier
Not only is humid air uncomfortable in the summer, but moist air can hold more latent heat than dry air. Maintaining the proper humidity level for your home can help control contaminates in the air and prevent damage to your home from built up moisture. Be sure to keep humidity levels in check for optimum performance of your central air cooling system.
Keep your Air Conditioning Unit and Coils Clean
Your air conditioning unit requires at least 12-18 inches of space around it to perform at its best. Be sure to keep any shrubs or plants near your AC unit trimmed back. You should also periodically check your unit to be certain that it is free from any leaves, grass clippings, or other debris. You should also remember to keep the air conditioner's coils clean. Ask a Douglas Mechanical Services technician what the manufacturer's instructions are for cleaning your unit.
Keep Heat Away from your Thermostat
Be certain you do not place any appliances that throw off heat near the thermostats in your home. Household items like televisions, lamps, stereos, or computer equipment can cause an incorrect reading and will decrease the efficiency of your cooling system.
Use your Appliances in the Evening
If possible, try to delay using household appliances like the dishwasher, dryer, washing machine, or oven until the evening. Doing so can mean lower energy rates for you, and will put less strain on your cooling system.