While fall is around the corner, our 80+ degree temperatures mean the A/C is still cranked on. With another month or so of warm weather ahead, now is a great time to brush up on best practices and mistakes you could be making with your A/C. Let's take a look.
1. Opening the windows - Air conditioners require a sealed environment to work optimally. This is why even window units come with material to help block any remaining window opening. To work properly, the inside air and the outside air need to be isolated from each other. Otherwise any heat pulled from the air by your A/C unit will come right back into your house through the window.
2. Cranking down the temperature as low as it will go - Cranking the temperature down to 65 degrees will not cool down a hot house any faster or more efficiently than if you set the thermostat to your desired temperature. Setting the temperature to the lowest setting does not make the cold air output any stronger, it only makes your system run longer and harder. This increases wear and tear on your HVAC system.
3. Not using a ceiling fan with the A/C - Many people don't know that using the ceiling fan and the A/C together is a winning combination. The ceiling fan helps circulate the cool air as it is released from the vents to help cool the entire space. And because ceiling fans cool people down too, it can make the room feel as much as 4 degrees cooler than it is. This means you can set the temperature a little warmer and save energy and money.
4. Not changing the air filter - Whether winter or summer, a gunky dirty air filter will restrict airflow. These means less cool air for you and your A/C has to work harder and longer to bring your home to the desired temperature. Change your air filter at least every other month or more often if you have pets, smoke or have people with asthma and allergies in the home.
5. Running the A/C full blast all day every day - Your A/C should cycle on and off throughout the day. Once it reaches the desired temperature, it should cycle off for a bit until it needs to kick on again to keep the temperature consistent. When you run your A/C at too low of a temperature, especially in the scorching heat we've had this summer, your A/C never gets to cycle off. This puts excess wear and tear on the unit. It also decreases energy efficiency and increases your utility bills.
6. Putting off regular A/C maintenance - Regular professional maintenance of your HVAC system keeps it working smoothly and helps catch small problems before they can lead to a major breakdown.
We've got several weeks of warm weather ahead and there is still time to help your A/C work smoothly and efficiently the rest of this summer.
While digital thermostats are fairly common in most households these days, not all digital thermostats are programmable. Choosing a programmable thermostat has a number of benefits for your wallet and your peace of mind.
1. Increase energy-efficiency - A programmable thermostat helps you more precisely control the temperature at different times of day, such as when you are away at work. This helps conserve energy when you aren't using the system, making your system and your home more energy-efficient.
2. Save money on utility bills - Being more energy-efficient means using less energy. Using less energy means you save money on your utility bills.
3. Reduce wear and tear on HVAC - A programmable thermostat allows you to set your temperature lower in the winter and higher in the summer when you aren't home. This change in temperature means your HVAC system cycles on and off less frequently, thus reducing wear and tear.
4. Increased comfort - A programmable thermostat helps keep temperature more consistent and with less fluctuation. More consistent temperature provides increased comfort.
5. Set it and forget it - You can set your programmable thermostat once per season to shift temperatures while you're normally away and come to your desired temperature when you're due to arrive home. You can literally set it and forget it and the thermostat follows your programming automatically.
6. Control settings from your phone - If you choose a programmable thermostat that is also a smart thermostat, you can control the temperature right from your phone while you're on the go. Getting off work early? You can change the thermostat to your desired temp right from your phone. Leaving on vacation and forgot to set it to vacation mode? You can do that from your phone too with a smart programmable thermostat.
7. Maximize use of zoned systems - If your home has a zoned HVAC system, a programmable thermostat helps you better manage the different zones in your home and make the most out of having a zoned system.
Having a programmable thermostat just makes sense. It saves you money, makes your HVAC more energy-efficient and can even be programmed or changed on the go if you choose a smart version.