How to Keep Your Home Cooler and Your Air Conditioner Running Efficiently in the Summer

For most people keeping the home cool in the hot summer months means running the air conditioner, which can also mean big energy bills if you aren’t helping your system run efficiently. When using a central air conditioning system it’s important to properly maintain the unit beginning with changing the filters at least once a month. A dirty air filter will decrease the efficiency of the unit by about one percent every week it remains dirty. If you don’t know how to change your air filter, call in an air conditioning service to do it for you.

There are numerous appliances and habits that can increase the heat in the home causing your system to work harder. Cooking, baking and even leaving your television on will up the temperature in your home. If you have a large flat screen television, place your hand an inch or two from the screen while it’s on and you may be surprised how much heat is being generated. If your television is close to your thermostat, it may think the room is warmer than it is and your air conditioner will work harder to cool the room.

Another occurrence that sometimes fools your thermostat is when the heat starts coming in through the windows. On hot sunny days glass can be like a magnifying glass intensifying the temperature in your home. During the day, closing the curtains on windows that face west and south can help keep the house cooler. The use of white window shades or mini blinds can reduce the heat getting through by as much as 50 percent.

Keeping the Warm Air Out and the Cold Air In

The main idea of maintaining your home cooler is to keep the warm air out and the cold air in. Most people understand that leaving doors or windows open while operating the air conditioner is not the ideal thing to do. Especially in hot, humid areas the air conditioner will be working harder to eliminate the humidity as well as cool the home. While it may seem good to operate a dehumidifier while the air conditioner is running, in reality that will only make the air conditioner work harder.

If your central air conditioning system is old it may pay to replace the outdoor compressor with a more energy efficient model. To ensure it matches the indoor portion of the system you can contact an air conditioning service company for advice. If you are installing a new central air unit make sure it is the right size for your home. It has been estimated that many air conditioners are at least 50 percent bigger than they need to be. There’s no truth to the argument that a too-large unit won’t work as hard to achieve the desired level of cooling. It will however, increase your energy consumption.

If you do purchase a new central air conditioner you should look at the unit’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). It should be above 12 and if you are going to install a window air conditioner it should have a SEER above 10 for the best energy savings to cool your home.

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