It’s hard to imagine spending an entire summer without air conditioning. The heat can affect not only our physical well-being but also our mental disposition. It is simply harder to work and think in a sub-optimal environment. Yet rising air conditioning costs make it difficult to justify the expense.
The solution? Reduce consumption to decrease energy bills. Here are a few ideas on how to go about this:
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Our need for cooling varies throughout the day. We need more of it while the sun is up compared to the nighttime. We require even less as we sleep since being largely stationary makes it easier to cool to bodies. When we go to work and the children attend school, we can simply turn off the system until it’s time to go back home. All of these different scenarios can be entered into a programmable thermostat to make the shifts in temperature automatic. Doing so ensures that there is never a wasted minute of air conditioning, allowing us to save significant amounts every month.
Use Curtains to Block the Sun
We learned in physics class that dark colors attract light and heat while lighter colors reflect them. This principle can be applied inside the home to reduce the heat inside a room during the summer. Use light-colored curtains to block off windows, especially on the south side which receives a lot of sun. This should alleviate the warmth in house and help the A/C cool things down a little faster. The opposite can be done during the winter. Dark curtains may be placed on windows specifically to attract sunlight and increase natural heating.
Perform Scheduled Maintenance
Homeowners should clean up the unit on a weekly basis to prevent the build-up of dirt and dust. This should be done for both the indoor and outdoor components to retain high efficiency. Meanwhile, the filters should be replaced every month or as suggested by the manufacturer. Having professionals perform routine maintenance semi-annually is a tremendous help in keeping things running smoothly and preventing breakdowns.