Southeast Florida summers can be brutal with heat and humidity. Staying comfortable indoors requires efficient and reliable cooling systems that won’t bust your budget. With some easy tips and professional help, you can keep your home cool without sacrificing too much of your hard-earned money for utility bills.

Why Is Efficiency Important?

Energy efficiency is vital to keep your utility costs down as you run the air conditioner to combat the heat and humidity. You’ll also enjoy greater comfort throughout your house and get more years of service from your AC when it runs efficiently. Finally, you’ll be helping the environment when you keep energy consumption low.

Tips for Greater Energy Efficiency From Your AC

You can find plenty of great ways to maximize the efficiency of your air conditioner while cooling your home. Some of these tips require no additional purchases and are as simple as closing the blinds. For other efficiency tips, you’ll need the assistance of a professional. Either way, lowering your energy consumption is worth the money.

Close the Windows and Doors

Closing the windows and doors while the air conditioner runs is simple. You’ll keep the hot air outside and the cold air inside. Opening even a single door or window can drastically affect your cooling system and allow heat and humidity to overpower it.

Utilize Your Curtains and Blinds

Sunlight provides a few extra degrees of natural heat to your home and can make a difference in its indoor temperature. Close the curtains or blinds on your windows and patio doors while the sun glares down to keep the extra heat out. You can do the opposite in winter to boost your home’s heating.

Check Your Air Vents

Cold air travels throughout your home through the vents. Uncover the vents, and ensure your furniture isn’t blocking the cold air from circulating throughout the room. You can use your vacuum to suck dirt and debris from the openings of the vents to improve airflow as well. Do not close any vents, even in rooms you don’t use. Closing vents can cause improper cycling for your air conditioner and make it harder to bring the house to a comfortable temperature.

Skip the Cooking

When the temperatures soar, skip using your clothes dryer, oven, or other appliances that let out a lot of heat. Cook outdoors or enjoy a cold sandwich and salad to prevent adding heat to your home. Hang your laundry out on the clothesline, and skip the dryer.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans should spin in a counterclockwise direction in the summer. Counterclockwise motion helps create a downdraft that gives you a breeze and makes you feel cooler.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, it’s time to get one. You can set the thermostat based on your habits, turning the temperature up a bit when you are away and down some while you are at home. You can program the thermostat to change on its own so that you don’t have to remember on your way out the door. The programming also allows you to cool the house before you arrive home so that its interior is comfortable the minute you walk through the door.

Do not install a thermostat near appliances that give off heat. Likewise, do not place hot appliances near the thermostat. This heat may cause the thermostat to read incorrectly. Your air conditioner will continue running until the thermostat reaches the desired temperature, even if the house is already cold.

Change Air Filters

Air filters inside your central cooling system block dust and debris from entering your system and ducts. Change these filters at every one to three months to prevent them from clogging up. Clogged filters or a buildup of dust in your system will cause your air conditioner to work harder to provide the same level of comfort. You’ll also breathe easier when you keep the filters clear and clean.

Clean the Outside Condenser Unit

Your outdoor unit should be free of debris. Clear anything from atop the unit, such as twigs and leaves. Create a 2-foot clearance on all sides of the condenser unit so that nothing gets in the way. You might also want to shade the unit so that it doesn’t get too hot.

Schedule Annual Maintenance and Tune-Ups

Preventive maintenance keeps your air conditioner in the best condition and creates better energy efficiency. Your technician will inspect the machine and make adjustments to ensure peak performance. Some of the maintenance tasks include lubricating moving parts, clearing the condensate drain, and checking the refrigerant level. In addition to efficiency, maintenance helps lower the risk of unexpected breakdowns so that you can sail through the summer with cool air in your home.

Inspect Air Ducts, and Have Them Cleaned

Air ducts move the cold air from your central HVAC unit to the vents scattered around your house. The ducts should be clean, sealed, and sturdy to prevent losing cold air. Consider air duct cleaning every three to five years, and have the ductwork inspected for leaks, holes, or gaps where cold air can escape. Insulate exposed ducts that may get too warm to carry cold air all the way to the vents.

Install a Mini-Split System

A ductless mini-split system provides directional cold air to any room in the house where you need a boost. A mini-split system has an outdoor condenser unit that connects to the indoor blower unit. Mini-splits do not utilize air ducts and forced air. The ductless systems provide cool air in the spaces they occupy. Mini-splits are energy efficient and can help decrease the workload on your central AC by providing cold air in hard-to-manage areas of the house. Use a mini-split to enjoy cool air in one room without sacrificing the comfort level of the rest of the house.

Consider Zoned Cooling

Zoned cooling systems work through a separate thermostat in different areas of the house. Upper levels are sometimes difficult to regulate and control with your central air conditioner. A zoned system allows you to increase the temperature upstairs to get better cooling while leaving the downstairs thermostat alone.

At Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Restoration, we help our customers enjoy energy efficiency while staying comfortable in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, and other areas of Palm Beach and Broward counties. We offer skilled air conditioner repair, maintenance, and installation services to help you beat the summer heat. We also provide plumbing services to help you maintain convenience and hygiene. Our plumbers handle drain cleaning, sewer services, and household plumbing installation and repair. We’ll replace your old tub or toilet or install a new sink. We can find leaks in your plumbing system or install a new water heater. No matter your cooling or plumbing needs, our experts are ready to help.

Call Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Restoration to maximize the efficiency of your indoor air quality and air conditioner, so you can stay on top of the Florida heat!

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