There will be times this summer in L.A. where air conditioning is a must. However, this can lead to all sorts of fights over the thermostat--or lots of unnecessary money down the drain. Here are some ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your air conditioning unit.
- Use blinds or shutters. If you have window coverings, use them strategically. Keeping blinds and shutters closed when the sun directly hits your windows can make a world of difference. In Los Angeles, depending on which direction your windows are facing, this will be most of the day. This means using less air conditioner power to keep your home cool, and therefore less money and energy spent on cooling.
- Use a ceiling fan. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) notes that using a ceiling fan can help a room feel up to ten degrees cooler. When you partner this with air conditioning, you can use less energy for the same effects.
- Get a smart thermostat. If you don’t have a smart home thermostat yet, they’re game changers, especially in places like L.A. where it’s warm most days. These thermostats allow you to control your HVAC system remotely, meaning that you can turn off the air conditioner while you’re away. Do you sometimes forget to turn it off before you leave? Do you not want to walk into a hot home after work? Then a smart thermostat can help you.
- Get your air conditioner serviced. Your air conditioner can’t do its job if it needs cleaning, repair, or upgrading. Contact us today at Nexgen, and we’ll take a look at your HVAC system, and help you get it up and running to its full capacity. When your system is more efficient, you can cool your home with less energy and therefore less money.
- Avoid using certain appliances. Ovens, certain lights, and stovetops all can add heat to your home. Take advantage of the summer and take the grilling outside, or use the microwave. Try to keep as many lights off as possible--every little bit helps.
- Check your home insulation. No matter how efficient your air conditioner is, all of that cool air can escape through cracks in your home. Have your insulation checked for gaps, holes, or cracks. Whether you use polyurethane foam, natural insulation, or kingspan insulation, it’s only as effective as it is solid. Seal any cracks with caulking or repair, and rest assured that you’re getting the most of your system!
- Use an energy efficient air conditioning unit. Consult EnergyStar to find HVAC systems or air conditioners that are proven to be efficient. They need less energy to work well, which means that you save money.
- Place your home thermostat correctly. If your thermostat is near the kitchen or a hot window, your air conditioner may be turning on unnecessarily. Consult an HVAC contractor about where to place your thermostat so that it gets an accurate reading, and cools your home just enough.
- Never start low. You never want to put your thermostat super low when you first start it. It can be tempting to walk into a hot house and turn it as low as it’ll go, but it won’t do you any good in the long run. Instead, start by going five degrees cooler than the current temperature. This will use only as much energy as you need--and if you’re still warm, you can always go lower!
- Check your HVAC ducts. Finally, be sure to check your ducts. If they haven’t been looked at in a while, they may have leaks or obstructions that are preventing you from getting the most out of your air conditioner. Schedule a duct inspection and cleaning, or keep an eye out yourself.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be saving money and energy this summer while still staying cool. Over here at Nexgen Heating and Air, we’re always happy to help.