Apart from heading to the pool or sitting with your face directly in front of the fan, there are several other budget-friendly ways to stay cool during the hot summers. Here are a few ideas that can help you lower the temperature inside your home by keeping the heat out and getting the cool air to circulate more effectively so you can lower your energy bills and stay comfortable!
This blog post is part of Pacific's Heating and Cooling Series.
During the warmer months, you can stay cooler by turning on your ceiling fans. Make sure they're circulating in a counterclockwise direction so they push air downward to create a wind chill effect. While ceiling fans don’t actually lower temperatures, the wind chill effect makes it feel like they do; you should be able to raise your thermostat about 4 degrees without reducing your comfort, which has the potential to make a big difference in your energy bills at the end of the month! Make sure you turn on fans only in rooms you’re using. Turn them off when you leave a room to save electricity.
Swap out your incandescent light bulbs for energy efficient bulbs. According to the Department of Energy, only around 10–15% of the electricity incandescent bulbs use results in light; the rest turns to heat! Energy Star-qualified LED light bulbs use a fraction of the energy of halogen incandescents (25–30%) and last 8–25 times longer. Updating the bulbs throughout your home is an easy, inexpensive way to cut energy costs.
Is your home drafty? If you have air leaks or cracks in walls or around doors and windows, heat can seep inside, decreasing your comfort. Keep the heat out by applying caulk or weatherstripping in these areas. Quickly and easily increase your home’s overall energy efficiency by sealing air leaks.
Drapes and Blinds
In areas with more moderate temperatures, you can shut off your air conditioner at night and open your windows to let in a cool breeze. In the morning when you wake, before it gets warm, shut your windows and blinds or drapes to capture the cool air inside and keep the sunlight out so your home stays cooler throughout the day.
The filters in your air conditioner should be changed regularly during the cooling season. Clean filters will keep your indoor air quality higher, increase the overall energy efficiency of your system, and could extend the life of your air conditioner. Dirty filters prevent proper airflow and can lead to premature failure.
Walk outside and check the condenser; make sure no bushes, weeds, or vines are touching it. Trim any vegetation 2–4 feet back from the unit, or it could block the airflow and decrease its efficiency.
You should have your air conditioner tuned up at least once every year. During an annual tune up, your HVAC technician should clean the outdoor unit to remove any dirt or grime that has built up over the past year and inspect it for any current or potential problems. Make sure your technician is licensed, bonded, and insured so the job is done correctly.
Walk around your house and check all the vents to make sure none of them are covered or blocked. Blocked or closed air vents can place more pressure on your air conditioner, forcing it to work harder to get the air to the right temperature. Blocked vents can also make your home cool unevenly. If any vents are dusty or dirty, clean them. Not only will this reduce proper airflow, but it can cause dirty air to circulate throughout your home as well.
If you haven’t had your air conditioner tuned up or inspected yet this year, give us a call! We’ll make sure it’s working as efficiently as possible so you can save on cooling costs. If you need an air conditioner repair or any other heating or cooling service, call Pacific Sheet Metal—your Aspen area HVAC experts!