The summertime heat can take a toll on your home comfort and your home energy bill! It’s a fact here in Minnesota that there will be those days and long stretches when you need to leave the A/C on just to be comfortable, but that doesn’t mean your energy bill needs to be out of control. Just follow these tips to make sure you are running your air conditioner as efficiently as possible and not wasting money and energy.
- Change your 1″ thick filter monthly, or if it’s a media type filter (4 or 5″ thick), change it every 6 months or as prescribed by the filter manufacturer.
- Make sure all registers and return air grilles are open and clear of furniture and rugs.
- Have the indoor unit checked regularly by an HVAC professional who will inspect the indoor blower assembly and clean if necessary.
- Keep the outdoor unit clean. In an area with cottonwood, you may need to clean the unit several times each season.
- Trim shrubs, grass or other foliage. A 12″ clearance is recommended to anything around the unit for best airflow.
Remember that the A/C unit is both a dehumidifier and a cooling unit. It takes a lot of energy to remove moisture from the air. To make the system operate at peak performance, let the A/C do its job to cool and dehumidify, and don’t open the windows just because the temperature outside cools off. Only open the windows and turn off the A/C if the humidity drops off. Opening the windows on a cool and clammy evening makes the A/C work twice as hard the next day when it warms up. The A/C has to wring all of that moisture back out of the air.
Reduce your heat gain by closing blinds, particularly on the east and west side of your home. In our latitude here in Minnesota, solar gain is greatest in the morning on the east side and in the evening on the west. Purchase reflective blinds to redirect the solar heat back outside. Use bath fans while bathing to lessen the humidity heat gain. Keep cooking to a minimum; consider both the heat and the humidity produced.
If you follow some of these simple tips, you will save a little dough and help your A/C unit last a little longer.