With the arrival of summer, the season for running your air conditioner has also arrived. Staying cool in the summer is a top priority for many people. That means you want to make sure you do everything possible to make sure your AC unit cools well and runs properly. Avoiding the following mistakes will help you do just that.
#1: Not taking advantage of your fans
The ceiling fans around your home can play a vital role in the efficiency of your AC unit. Make sure the switch on your fan is set to "summer" mode – this is where it circulates the air counter-clockwise, which will push the cool air down. It also helps circulate the air throughout your home, which helps to avoid "hot spots" where poor air circulation makes a room or corner feel warmer or stuffier than the rest of the house. If you don't have ceiling fans, consider using a standard floor fan or box fan to served the same purpose and to give your AC a boost.
#2: Venting improperly
It may seem like a good idea to close vents in rooms that are seldom used to save on energy, but there are some caveats to doing so. First, make sure the doors to these rooms are closed if you are going to attempt this. Also, do not close vents in a room that contain a thermostat, since this can cause your AC to actually run longer. Finally, never leave the window open, even a little bit, in a room with closed vents (or any room, for that matter, when the AC is running). Closing vents in one or two rooms can help lower usage, but it will just lead to a hot home if you try to do it in more rooms than that.
#3: Trying to micromanage AC use
Manually micromanaging the AC unit is likely to end up with a hot house and high energy bill. You don't want to try to lower consumption manually by shutting off the AC for prolonged periods or setting the thermostat really high. This just means it will take longer and use more energy to cool down later. Instead, invest in a programmable thermostat. This can be set to automatically raise the temperature – and use less energy – when you aren't home during the day. Then, it will lower the temperature an hour or so before you get home so your home gradually reaches a more comfortable temperature without the need to really crank up the cooling when you walk in the door.
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