June 17, 2016
Help your A/C keep its cool in the heat
This early, long heat spell already has air conditioners working overtime to keep homes cool. AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln has some suggestions from Paul Pogue at Angie’s List for things homeowners can do to lighten the load and keep their A/C running at peak performance.
Check the air filter.
Check the air filter once per month and replace it as needed. If the filter gets dirty and clogged, your system will have to work harder.
“Replacing filters is one of the easiest and most effective methods of conserving energy and saving money on your HVAC usage. And much like changing the oil in your car, it’s a critical step in maintaining your system’s long-term health,” Pogue says.
Get a professional inspection.
Each central air conditioning unit should be inspected, cleaned and tuned by a, HVAC professional before the hot season begins. Since our season began so early, some may not have had time yet to get this done. Go ahead and schedule it — you’ll be glad you did.
Give your air conditioner some shade.
The U.S. Department of Energy has found planting trees or shrubs to shade your air conditioner reduces air temperatures directly under trees as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Kimbery Dawn Neumann at Realtor.com. This allows the AC units to work more efficiently to conserve energy and reduce energy bills by as much as 10 percent.
However, remember that placement is everything. “Make sure to leave 2 to 3 feet of open space all around the unit so as not to obstruct the airflow or impede access for repairs,” Neumann says. “Also space trees far enough from your home so that once they mature, the root systems will not damage the foundation or the branches damage the roof.”
Keep your thermostat cool, too.
Keep heat-producing appliances like lamps and televisions away from your thermostat, says Pogue. “The thermostat senses the heat, causing the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. When installing a new thermostat, don’t place it in a location where the sun might shine on it directly.”
Change your landscaping.
Avoid landscaping with lots of rock, cement, or asphalt on the south or west sides of your home. If it’s not shaded, it will increase the temperature around the house and radiate heat.
DO touch that dial.
Remember that for every degree you set your thermostat below 78, this increases your energy consumption by about 8 percent. If your monthly electric bill is about $100, you’ll save $8 a month with EACH degree you can stand above 78.
Give your windows some shades, inside and out.
A great home improvement idea is to install home window film or tint to the insides of your windows. Not only can it help keep your house cooler in the summer, but also warmer in the winter.
Closing shades and curtains when the sun is pounding in also will keep your home cooler.