How to Reduce AC Power Consumption
In the middle of a Florida summer, it may be difficult to worry about your AC power consumption. Your main concern is to remain comfortable while indoors. This is understandable, but your energy bills may skyrocket. However, there are ways to stay comfortable and keep your energy costs manageable. At Mario's AC, we give this kind of advice to customers on a regular basis.
Here are some suggestions on how to reduce AC power consumption during the hot seasons.
Go Up One Degree
People are creatures of habit. People also have standards of comfort that they want to maintain. So, when it comes to reducing your AC power consumption, consider starting small like going 1 degree up during the warmer months. The Department of Energy estimates that for every degree you go up in eight hours increments can save you 1% in energy costs. This is a great start that delivers savings without impacting your lifestyle too much. When you’re away from your home, if you must leave the AC running, the DOE also recommends that you set your thermostat at 78 degrees. When you are home, you’re allowed to be comfortable. The more you want to manage your energy costs, though, the closer the setting should be left at 78.
Some people are home all day. For older adults, the heat can be hazardous, so it is understandable if they want to lower the indoor temperature. There are other ways to reduce AC power consumption.
A cooling system that is operating at an optimal level will be better at limiting AC power consumption. To make this scenario happen, you are asked to ensure the unit receives regular HVAC maintenance. Regular maintenance includes:
- Replacing the filter
- Checking the motor
- Inspecting the blower
- Testing the drain lines
- Looking for leaks
- Topping off the refrigerant
A technician begins by checking the air filter. If it is full of dust, it must be replaced. A dirty air filter is the least expensive way to help a cooling system. It is also the easiest, and in many ways, the most important. If the air filter is dirty, it prevents 100% of the cool air produced from traveling to its destination. When the dust begins to clump up, it can start to affect other components such as the fan and motor. If any part cannot execute its job with ease, it will overheat. One part overheating can shut down the entire system, or worse.
Some people hesitate to schedule regular maintenance due to the cost. Instead of looking at it as strictly money going out, consider looking at it as an investment. The typical lifespan of an HVAC unit averages around 15 years. If you can maintain the warranty, it is more likely to get through this time without any major issues. That can lead to some big savings. Plus, you save when you do not have to run the cooling system longer. With proper HVAC maintenance, you should also enjoy a properly working thermostat, better airflow and healthier indoor air quality.
The cooling systems of today have come a long way from just a decade ago. This is true of home construction, too. The focus is on energy efficiency. There has been a big push in manufacturing and technology to ensure that large home appliances qualify as environmentally friendly and Energy Star certified. When you are interested in reducing your AC power consumption, consider an upgrade.
Modern HVAC systems may include the following:
- Adjustable fan speed
- Programmable timer
- Air direction control
- Energy Star rating
- Variable speed compressor
- Indoor air quality add-ons
- Smart connectivity
Since the latest cooling systems are Energy Star rated, you can count on reducing your AC power consumption. Plus, you can count on reducing your energy bills. Then, there is also the fact that new systems include several conveniences. The smart connectivity is a favorite of technology early adopters. Adjustable fan speed, programmable timer and air direction control is great for older adults. A definite plus is the ability to add on indoor air quality options.
Indoor air quality is important for everyone. When the indoor air quality is questionable and it is a bad quality air day outside, it is a bad combination. While you are indoors, there should be no danger in terms of the air you are breathing. Air purifiers help you cut down the number of allergens floating around while carbon monoxide detectors alert you if the hazardous substance is in the air.
An upgrade is something worth looking into even if you are not ready to make the change. If you need some suggestions, professionals are ready to help.
Go Old School
Another method for reducing AC power consumption is to go old school. On the surface, it may sound odd, but in reality, this is how people cooled off for several decades before electricity became an expected utility and convenience.
Closing the curtains or drapes when the sun’s rays are the strongest prevents that heat from entering your home. It is also a great way to keep your furnishings in good condition because the sun’s rays can cause their color to fade.
If you are willing to modify your meal schedule, consider cooking when the sun is not right over your home. Remember, a stove and electric oven will add more heat to your environment. In the summer, this is not ideal. Other options are grilling outside or preparing fresh meals that require the least amount of cooking like salads. When cooking is a must, ensure that you have vents installed over the stove. These vents suck up the extra smoke, which is great for indoor air quality. They also help with the heat a little bit, too.
In the morning or the late afternoon, open a window. This is wonderful for letting in the fresh air in and the stuffiness out. Those who suffer from respiratory issues might want to couple opening a window with installing an air purifier. During the summer months, there is not a lot of pollen floating around but there are other allergens that could trigger asthma or other allergies. The moisture in the humidity does not help. An air purifier is not going to clean your indoor air 100%, but it does cut it down by at least 50%.
Another reason to open a window is to air out your home. You are trying to prevent the growth of mold due to the humidity. In the summer, similar to the winter, people tend to not open their windows very often. This traps in allergens as well as the spores that cause mold growth.
Going old school is a great way to reduce AC power consumption. Of course, there are going to be days when it is not enough, but at least you saved your cooling system for the days that you truly needed its power.