When the temperature climbs, most of us in the Sacramento area find our energy bills climbing right along with it. Believe it or not, you can stay cool this summer, and still keep your cool when the electric bill comes, with these simple tips from Ace Plumbing that can lower your air conditioning costs this summer.
Get a Smart Thermostat
Your house doesn’t need to feel like the Arctic if you’re not in it. A smart thermostat lets you set the temperature by the time of day as well as the temperature so you can save energy and money. The Department of Energy recommends this, and also makes a suggestion that might surprise you: your thermostat should be set to 78 degrees when you’re home.
If 78 degrees is too warm, remember two things. The first is that keeping your thermostat set higher means saving money. The second is that if your home feels too hot, the air conditioning may not be the issue. That brings us to…
Run a Dehumidifier
It never fails. Complain about the heat and someone will invariably say, “It ain’t the heat that gets you. It’s the humidity.” They’re right, though; humid air feels warmer whether you’re outdoors or enjoying your morning coffee at the kitchen table. Controlling humidity indoors can help you run the AC at a warmer temperature but still feel cool. Ace Plumbing can assess your home and help you determine whether a single-room or whole-home dehumidifier can help you.
Use Fans the Right Way
Home designs are getting better for energy efficiency, but many of them still do a lousy job of air circulation. That means your HVAC system has to work harder. If your home has ceiling fans and vent fans, use them. If it doesn’t? Get them. The DOE article linked above mentions that you can set your thermostat four degrees higher without noticing a difference if you use a ceiling fan to keep the air moving.
Speaking of fans, don’t forget to run your ventilation fans in your kitchen (when you’re cooking) and your bathroom (when you shower), since each will draw off hot air and help keep those rooms cooler. Not to mention getting rid of various cooking and… other… odors.
Don’t Heat Your Home
Your air conditioner may be working overtime because of the myriad ways you’re actually heating your home in the summer. Don’t run appliances that generate heat during the day. Your stovetop, oven, hair dryer, and many types of electronics generate heat; minimize their use. Still using incandescent bulbs? Trade them for LED bulbs to lower heat and save on energy bills. And make sure your shades are lowered and curtains drawn during the day, since sunlight flooding into a room is a sure way to raise its temperature.
There are a number of things that can cause an HVAC system to be inefficient. The thermostat being mounted on the wrong wall, dirty coils, low coolant, filthy filters, the need for HVAC repairs, and a host of other factors can lead to your AC working harder than it needs to in the summer. Regular air conditioner maintenance costs a bit up front, but saves you money in the long run — both on your energy bills, and on premature HVAC replacement.
Wondering where to turn for Sacramento HVAC maintenance? Look no further than Ace Plumbing. Contact us today!