According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioners use about 6 percent of all the electricity produced in the U.S. Today, in fact, more than 90 percent of US households rely on some sort of air conditioning to help them beat the heat.
Can that level of energy consumption be reduced without depriving anyone of the indoor comfort they depend on? Absolutely. By avoiding some all-too frequent mistakes, you also can look forward to fewer repairs and a longer system lifespan. Just follow this common-sense advice:
- Buying the wrong size. Before installing an air conditioning system or unit, calculate the size of the room or area to be cooled and make note of its layout, function, and typical occupancy. A unit that is too large will cycle on and off too quickly, while a unit that is too small for a space will run constantly trying to keep up with demand.
- Cooling an empty space. Just like you wouldn’t leave your faucet running once you’re done brushing your teeth, you shouldn’t cool your home when you’re not in it. Instead, swap out your conventional thermostat for a programmable model while also considering the addition of more zones, each with its own thermostat. That way, you can keep cool while saving money in rooms are areas that are temporarily unoccupied.
- Placing the air conditioning unit in direct sunlight. We know that outdoor AC units aren’t exactly eye candy. But placing one where it receives lots of sunlight will trick it into “thinking” it needs to work harder than it really does. Thinking about replacing your system? This time, find a nice shady spot, even it means planting some new shrubs or perhaps even a retractable awning.
- Installing thermostats or vents in the wrong locations. Thermostats should not be placed in direct sunlight or near heat producing appliances or lighting. Too much heat provides inaccurate temperature readings, causing your system to work harder and thus increasing wear and tear while driving up energy costs. Additionally, keep draperies and furniture away from vents to allow proper air circulation.
Equally important to the long-term health and performance of your AC system is annual preventative maintenance. Here at Optimum Air, that’s a specialty of the house. So if it’s been a year or longer since your system was last professionally cleaned and inspected, contact us today for service. You’ll profit from the results.