Save Energy and Money With Tips for Efficient Air Conditioning Use
In Tucson, air conditioning is not optional. When the summer heat hits, running your air conditioning not only keeps your home comfortable, but is actually necessary to keep your family and pets safe from the risk of heat-related illnesses. Of course, the fact that running the air conditioning is essential doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the increase in utility bills that comes along with it.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to limit the impact of your air conditioning on your utility bills and on the environment. Ensuring that your air conditioning is running as efficiently as possible will keep your home comfortable while using the least amount of energy possible—good news for your wallet and the planet. At Intelligent Design in Tucson, our highly skilled air conditioning professionals will keep your unit in top condition with maintenance and repair services when you need them. Here is what you need to know about boosting your air conditioning efficiency, including tips from our pros.
Choose the Right Air Conditioner
You can only run your air conditioner as efficiently as the model allows. If you have an old air conditioner, there is a good chance that there are more affordable models on the market that can give you better efficiency. When you’re evaluating new air conditioners, look at the EER and SEER ratings. EER stands for Energy Efficient Ratio. It should be at least 9, but the most efficient air conditioners are over 10. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The lowest efficiency units have a SEER of 14 or lower. For both EER and SEER, the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.
When you’re choosing an air conditioner, consider the size of the space you want to cool and look for energy-efficient features, like programmable temperature settings. Your Intelligent Design AC technician can help you make the right choice for a new air conditioner for your space that is designed to tolerate the heat in Tucson. We install new units and work with only the best air conditioning suppliers. Financing is available for new air conditioner installation.
Seal Leaks Around Windows and Doors
A common culprit behind inefficient air conditioner use is leaky doors and windows. When your doors and windows aren’t sealed properly, your cool air will spill outside, while warm air comes inside, making your system run even harder to maintain your preferred indoor temperature.
One way to find leaks around your home is to have a home energy audit, but you can also test yourself. Go outside and run your hands around your windows and doors. If you feel cool air, then you have a leak. Use caulk to patch leaks around windows, and consider weatherstripping around your doors to keep your cool air where it belongs: inside.
Rethink Your Appliance Use
You’re not just imagining that you feel warmer when your dryer or dishwasher are running. These appliances give off a significant amount of heat, and that heat can send your air conditioning into overdrive. Combine that additional heat with the soaring temperatures in the middle of the day, and you’ll end up pushing your air conditioner to the brink.
Instead of increasing your indoor temperature with appliances when outside temperatures are peaking, aim to run heat-generating appliances in the early morning or evening hours, when temperatures cool down. Although low temperatures are still warm in Tucson in the summer, you’ll still reap the benefits of running your appliances during cooler times of the day. Run the dishwasher and do laundry in the evening, and use your microwave instead of running your oven during daylight hours to help keep your indoor air cool and your air conditioner running less.
Consider Your Thermostat Placement
Your thermostat tells your air conditioner when it needs to run, so it makes sense to make sure that it isn’t exposed to unnatural heat sources. If your thermostat is near one of your heat-generating appliances, relocate it so it doesn’t react to the hot air generated when the appliance is in use.
Additionally, thermostats that are placed near lamps or in direct sunlight are also likely to cause your air conditioner to run more frequently. Relocating the thermostat to a more neutral location can cut down on AC usage significantly. Talk to one of our air conditioner repair specialists at Intelligent Design about the most efficient location for your thermostat.
Adjust Your Temperature Settings
When the Tucson summer heat arrives, you need your home to be a cool, welcoming place to relax. However, you may be able to get an indoor temperature that is comfortable by setting your air conditioner a bit higher. Typically, setting your air conditioner around 78 degrees will keep your home comfortable while maximizing the efficiency of your unit. You can complement your air conditioning by running a ceiling fan, which will help cool the room while it is circulating the cooler air your system produces.
Additionally, it is a misconception that turning off your AC or adjusting the temperature when you’re not home will cause your system to work harder when you turn it back on. In fact, it’s a good idea to raise the temperature on your thermostat when you leave. During the coolest part of the season, you may be able to turn your air conditioner off when you’re not home, but even during the peak summer season, adjusting your temperature up when you’re not home will save energy and increase efficiency. However, if you have pets, keep their comfort in mind as you decide how to manage your AC when you’re not home.
Keep in mind that a smart thermostat can make this process easier. This kind of thermostat will allow you to set the temperatures to change automatically at specific times of the day and may even allow you to use your phone to turn on your AC when you’re heading home, so the house will be cool when you arrive.
Get Regular Air Conditioning Maintenance
Before the hot weather arrives, call Intelligent Design’s air conditioning technicians in Tucson to have seasonal maintenance performed on your system. During a maintenance appointment, our techs will inspect your system to make sure it is working as efficiently as possible, and will make any repairs that are needed to get it in top condition. Regular air conditioner maintenance is a great way to prevent small problems from developing into major malfunctions when you need your air conditioning the most. It will also help to ensure that the air in your home is the highest possible quality.
When you’re running your air conditioner, it’s also a good idea to regularly clear the area around the outdoor unit. Any debris around the unit can interfere with efficient operations. The condenser unit itself will need to be cleaned periodically as well, but that job should be left to the professionals.
During air conditioning maintenance, our technicians will check your thermostat settings, electrical connections, and voltage readings. They will perform a visual inspection of the unit and lubricate any moving parts. Maintenance also includes cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils, cleaning debris from the unit, and replacing the air filters. Our team will also look for leaks in the system. If we find any problems during your maintenance appointment, our technicians will explain the issue to you and can perform any necessary repairs.
Rely on Your Curtains and Blinds
You may see your curtains and blinds as key to your privacy, but they can also help to keep your home cooler. As the sun streams into your home during the day, it increases the indoor temperature. In turn, your air conditioner runs more often, driving up your energy bills as it struggles to maintain your desired temperature.
During the day, close your curtains and blinds to keep the sun from increasing your indoor temperature. You’ll feel cooler and more comfortable, and your air conditioner will run less. You’ll get the added benefit of saving your furniture and carpets from fading. Additionally, turning off your lights during the day will help.
Unblock Your Vents
When your vents are blocked, your cooled air won’t be able to flow into your home easily, so your system will have to work harder to achieve your desired indoor temperature. Keeping them unblocked will improve your AC efficiency.
Start by ensuring that your vents are not blocked by furniture or clutter. Next, turn your attention to dust and debris that could be partially clogging the vents. Changing your air filters regularly will also help. If you think your vents could benefit from deeper cleaning, consider having your air ducts cleaned.
Choose Intelligent Design for Your Air Conditioning Service in Tucson
Intelligent Design Solar, Plumbing, and Air Conditioning is the highest rated HVAC service company in Southern Arizona, and we have more than 13,000 5-star reviews for our services. Our certified air conditioning technicians are experienced in everything from seasonal air conditioning maintenance to new air conditioner installation in Tucson. We offer free estimates, free diagnostics with repairs, and a 24-month warranty on parts and labor. Interest-free financing is available, and we’re on call around the clock for repair emergencies at any time of the day. Find out how we can help you stay cool and comfortable in Tucson by contacting us today.