5 Clever Ways To Save Your Air Conditioner & Reduce Your Energy Costs
Most people don't think of the amount of work their air conditioners do until their air conditioners refuse to work anymore. The harder your air conditioner works, the faster it may need to be repaired. Fortunately, there are ways to prolong your air conditioning unit's life expectancy so you'll be able to avoid repairs and/or replacement in the future. Better yet, you'll probably save money on your electricity bill if your air conditioning unit isn't working so hard. Here are a few tips that may help.
Plant shade trees & vines
You know how you feel much cooler underneath a shade tree when the sun is blazing hot? The same thing goes for your house, which can help keep your air conditioner from working so hard. Plant trees on your property to provide shade to the side of your house that receives the most sunshine. Hire a landscaper to strategically plant shade trees to keep the sun out of your windows during the harshest hours of sunlight. Plant climbing vines to run up the walls of your house to help reduce the amount of solar heat your house gets from direct sunlight.
Use window coverings
Of course, it is common sense to use heavy drapes on your windows to block out the sunlight. However, who wants to live like a hermit? If you'd rather be able to see out of your windows, you can still effectively block the harsh sunlight from increasing the temperature inside your house by installing a window film on each of your windows. You can find this product in your local hardware and home improvement stores. Basically, it's going to make your windows work like sunglasses. Don't worry, most window films are just slightly tinted.
Get rid of the moisture
High humidity, or any humidity for that matter, can make the air feel warmer than it really is. Instead of lowering the thermostat setting to compensate, install a dehumidifier to help reduce the amount of humidity in the air inside your home so you can feel more comfortable. You'll also want to make sure to run the fans when you boil water in your kitchen and take hot showers in your bathroom to help keep your humidity level lower. Try lowering the temperature on your hot water heater to reduce the amount of steam your showers produce.
Seal the foundation
If your basement tends to feel damp, consider sealing your foundation walls with waterproof sealant. One way to tell if your basement is too damp is to tape thick plastic sheets to the concrete floor and walls and wait. After a day or two, remove the plastic sheets and see if there is condensation or droplets of water. If so, you definitely have a problem with a damp basement, which could be causing your house to be more humid than it should be.
Use ceiling fans
Ceiling fans can help move the air around in your house, but you have to keep tabs on which direction they are forcing the air to move. Ceiling fans have switches on them that change the direction of the blades to either push the air downwards or pull the air upwards. Make sure the switches are in the correct position at the beginning of each season. If you have a fan without a directional label, you'll want the blades to turn counterclockwise during the summer months.
Your air conditioner may last longer and have fewer breakdowns if you don't overwork it. Try reducing the amount of work and stress on your air conditioning system, and you might save some money on your energy costs as an added benefit. For more information about maintaining your air conditioner, contact a local air conditioning repair company.