As you bask in the gloriously cool environs of your home, your air conditioning system is likely working overtime to make your surroundings comfortable. The intense heat and humidity that’s often a part of the Charleston-area summertime experience create a hefty workload for your air conditioner, which could add extra wear and tear on your system’s various components.
Not only that, a hard-working AC unit can also consume more electricity than expected, leading to higher utility bills. To keep this from happening, here are a few tips you can use to lighten your AC system’s cooling loads.
Put Your Ceiling Fans to Good Use
Running your home’s ceiling fans in a counter-clockwise direction can help tremendously when it comes to reducing your air conditioning burden. The downward draft generated by your ceiling fan prevents cool air from rising, resulting in fewer natural losses of conditioned air. The air movement also creates a wind chill effect that leaves you feeling cooler without actually reducing thermostat temperatures.
By using your ceiling fans, you can raise your thermostat temperatures several degrees without experiencing any noticeable loss in cooling comfort. This can help you ease the strain on your AC system while saving money in the process.
Give Your Windows Plenty of Shade
Even on moderately warm days, there’s enough radiant heat coming through your windows to significantly increase your AC system’s workload, resulting in more energy wasted and reduced cooling comfort. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to reduce solar heat gain through your windows:
- Light-blocking curtains can help reduce solar heat gain, but at the cost of reducing your home’s natural lighting.
- Keeping your blinds closed can also help cut down on radiant heat while increasing your privacy, but you’ll also lose outward visibility while your blinds are closed.
- Windows with low-emissivity coatings perform well at limiting excess light and radiant heat, but outfitting your entire home with these windows can be expensive.
- Window tint films are cheaper than installing Low-E windows, but they may not offer the same level of effectiveness in some cases.
Adding solar shades on windows facing south and west can also help reduce heat gain and take a significant load off your AC system.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Constant fiddling with the thermostat can result in uneven indoor temperatures and an AC unit that’s placed under more stress than necessary. You can easily eliminate this problem simply by investing in a programmable thermostat. These thermostats allow users to pre-program temperatures for certain days of the week or, for more advanced models, certain times of the day.
This means you can program your AC system to run during times when you need your cooling comfort most and reduce usage during off-peak times without having to constantly adjust your thermostat. Your programmable thermostat will increase or decrease your cooling based on the day-to-day profile you’ve created for your home.
Programmable thermostats can be more advanced features may cost anywhere from $80 to $250.
Make Sure Your Home Is Well-Insulated
Having good insulation does more than keep your home warm throughout the winter. It can also keep excess heat at bay during the summer and prevent cool, conditioned air from escaping. Making sure your home has the proper amount of insulation.
The best way to find out how much insulation your home needs is to have your HVAC technician perform a home energy audit. An audit can reveal plenty about your home’s energy-efficiency needs and how to best meet those needs. Contact us today and learn more ways you can reduce your air conditioning usage.