Air conditioning units in the home can be a godsend on hot summer days. They save us from melting into our couches, throwing a white flag to the world, and any possibility of being productive during the day. They keep us cool and comfortable, but they can also run up a hefty energy bill. Using an AC unit in your home doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Here are four simple ways you can help improve your AC efficiency:
1. Keep it fresh
You should always keep the filter on your AC unit fairly new. Buying a new one at least once a year is recommended. They’re pretty inexpensive and can be found at most hardware stores. An old filter can have mold inside, and it’s very unhealthy if that is what your air is being filtered through. The filter itself is designed to collect mold spores, and newer ones are more effective. If you or anyone in your household suffers from allergies, this is particularly important.
2. Keep it clean
Make sure that the filter for your unit stays clean and free from debris to allow maximum air flow. Remember, this is where your air is coming from. If you were using a water filter in your kitchen, you wouldn’t want to drink anything that came out of a dirty filter. You should think the same way about your air supply. As a general rule of thumb, the air filter for an ac unit (whether it’s central air or a wall unit) is where air is taken into the cooling system. Vacuuming with an attachment to remove any excess dust and particles can usually do the trick, but it’s good to keep on top of cleaning by inspecting it often and seeing how best to keep it in good shape.
3. Keep doors and windows closed
If doors and windows are open or ajar, the conditioned air inside will leak out and some air from outside which is unconditioned will come in. You should make sure that all of your doors and windows are closed securely, otherwise the AC won’t be nearly as effective.
4. Avoid running the dryer and oven during the warmest daytime hours
If possible, try to avoid using the dryer and the oven during the peak temperature hours of the day. Using either machine will warm the air inside the home, forcing the AC system to work harder to compensate and keep the temperature low.
Air conditioners themselves aren’t cheap, but keeping them in good condition is. There are very inexpensive ways to improve AC efficiency and save money. Doing this is important beyond merely ensuring comfort when the weather heats up. Neglecting proper maintenance on your AC system can pose a threat to your health and the health of your family. Indoor Air published a study saying that AC systems that aren’t efficiently maintained contribute to many adverse health effects, which include fatigue, headaches, and skin and eye irritation.