When it’s summer on Long Island, it’s hot and often humid, which means your air conditioning is working overtime. It also means keeping cool without hurting your wallet is a priority. The following tips and answers will help you stay comfortable this summer without spending a lot of money.
- Shut The Door – or Keep It Open?
- Switch Your Lights
- Close Your Shades & Drapes
- Ceiling Fans
- Ductless Air Conditioning
- Exhaust Fans
- Clean/Replace Your Air Filters
- Programmable & Smart Thermostats
Whether you should close the door to unused rooms depends upon the type of air conditioning you have. With central air, a.k.a. a whole-house air conditioning unit, it’s actually more efficient and safer to keep all of the interior doors open. Closing off part of the house or even a room can cause air pressure problems and make the system work harder, costing you more money.
If, however, your air conditioning is from window units, closing the door to the room it services is fine. Such a unit is designed to cool a limited area and brings in air from the outside, so pressure changes aren’t an issue. Keeping the room with the running window unit closed is more efficient because you’ll reach your ideal temperature for that room faster.
If you haven’t switched from incandescent bulbs to LEDs or compact fluorescents, your energy costs are higher, and those bulbs give off heat that affects your room temperature. Energy-efficient bulbs may cost more in the beginning but last years and cost far less to run, making them cheaper over time.
According to the Department of Energy, using window treatments to block the sun can decrease the heat that enters a room by up to 77 percent.
For more efficient air conditioning use, pair it with a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can decrease room temperatures by 5-7 degrees so you can set your thermostat a little higher while achieving a comfortable room temperature.
Humidity makes a room feel warmer, which is great in the winter but terrible in the summer. Air conditioning removes some humidity from the air, but if humidity is a big problem, consider having a dedicated humidifier. This works especially well in areas like basements that can feel damp in the summer. It can lower your air conditioning usage by removing the moisture that makes you feel too warm.
If one part of your home is consistently warmer than the rest, such as a southern-facing room, consider adding, especially split units or ductless air conditioning units, to supplement your existing system.
Get rid of heat from cooking or taking a shower by using the exhaust fan in your bathroom or kitchen.
Regardless of the type of air conditioning you have, it has an air filter. Keeping it clean improves their efficiency, which means you use less energy.
Controlling precisely when air conditioning turns on and off can save you a lot of money by not cooling your home when you’re out. Both a programmable thermostat and a smart thermostat can keep your home warmer while you’re at work and then lower the temperature shortly before you get home.
What Temperature Should I Set My AC To?
According to Consumer Reports, the ideal temperature depends upon whether you value comfort or cost. Further, the Department of Energy says that for each degree that you raise your thermostat in the summer, you save 3 percent in energy costs, which can add up quickly. Consumer Reports suggests starting at 78 degrees and adjusting the temperature until you find the right balance between comfort and cost.
How Cool Should My Home Be When It’s 100 Degrees Outside?
Air conditioners are designed to make air approximately 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature, so you aren’t imagining it if it feels warmer than usual inside on super-hot days. Keeping window treatments closed on those days and using ceiling fans and dehumidifiers can help to make you more comfortable on those blistering hot days. Although, it’s unlikely that your house will feel like 68 degrees if it’s 100 degrees or more outside.
Keep Cool with Tragar This Summer!
Let Tragar help you stay cool this summer by keeping your cooling system well maintained and installing accessories, like a programmable thermostat, to enhance its results. Tragar and our HVAC experts will take care of it. Contact us today.