Central Pennsylvania summers can get extremely hot, with temperatures climbing into the high 80s and even 90s. You’re probably faced with high utility bills from running your air conditioner all day and wondering how you can lower your energy consumption. Here are some proven energy-saving tips for the summer.
1. Get Your HVAC System Professionally Cleaned
Regular maintenance is critical for keeping your HVAC system running efficiently. You should have your air conditioning serviced once a year, preferably before peak cooling season. A certified technician can give your system a full cleaning and check for any potential issues that are lowering performance.
2. Regularly Replace Your Filter and Clear Debris Away from the Outdoor Unit
Keep an eye on the condition of your system filter. Be sure to change it whenever it is dirty. A clogged filter will make your air conditioner work harder and use more energy.
Similarly, too much debris on the outdoor unit will hinder system performance. Regularly weed around your AC unit, trim branches, and clear out leaves, mulch and other vegetation.
3. Keep Returns Open
While most homeowners are careful not to block their supply registers (vents where the cold air blows out), they may not realize the importance of keeping return vents clear. Return vents take in air from each room and carry it back to the HVAC unit to be reconditioned.
When the return vents are blocked, your air conditioner works harder, which in turn uses more energy. By keeping your returns clear and open, you can maximize the HVAC system’s efficiency and save energy in your home.
4. Install Window Treatments
Keep sunlight out of your home and you will help keep the temperature down. This is especially important in the room that contains the thermostat. If the thermostat is exposed to any type of heat source, your AC unit will work harder because it won’t have an accurate temperature reading.
5. Adjust Your Thermostat When You Leave the House
Turn the thermostat up higher before you leave home so that you’re not spending unnecessary energy to cool your house while you’re away. When you come back, you can turn it down again. A programmable or smart thermostat makes it much easier to coordinate this. You can program it to turn up and down at scheduled times so you’re always saving energy when you’re not at home.
6. Use Fans and Exhaust Vents Strategically
Always use exhaust vents in the kitchen when you’re cooking and in the bathroom when you’re showering to remove hot, steamy air from your home. You can also use fans to keep rooms cool without using as much air conditioning. Just make sure you only turn the fans on while you’re actually in the room, otherwise you’ll be wasting energy.
7. Seal Cracks in Your Home
Cracks in your windows and doors could be letting hot air inside your home and making your air conditioner work harder. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal up your house and keep it cool.
If you use these tips and your energy bills are still too high, it could mean your air conditioner needs to be replaced. Units that are older than 10 years won’t run as efficiently as the newer models. Installing a new system could save you in the long run with lower energy bills. Contact RSC Heating & Air Conditioning to request service or ask us about a new air conditioning unit.