7 Tips to Get the Best Out of Your Air Conditioning in Midland
We need air conditioning in Midland during the hottest times of the year. But, many homeowners overuse their AC systems. This can lead to higher energy bills, and this doesn’t need to be the case. There are ways to use your air conditioner more efficiently, and it is possible to reduce your energy bills and still feel comfortable all year round. In this article, we will look at seven tips to help you get more out of your AC system for less money.
Insulation is Important
As a passive way to retain cool and warm air in your home, you cannot beat the effects of good insulation. Around 25-35% of treated air that is lost in most homes simply disappears straight through the roof spaces. Take some time to evaluate the insulation levels in your attic, and if you can see a lot of gaps, it may be time to replace it altogether. There are two different types of insulation for your attic, bulk and reflective. Both types have an “R-value,” the higher the R-value number, the better the insulation is, and it’s worth spending a little more to get the best you can afford.
Sealing Air Leaks
If you’ve spent good money to treat the air in your home, the last thing that you want is for it to escape through gaps around your doors and windows. An older home may have never been air sealed, but even newer properties can have a seal that has failed. The best way to test for air leaks is to contact your local HVAC specialist and ask about a blower test. This is where the technician pressurizes the home and takes readings to find hidden air leaks. If you’re on a stricter budget, another less scientific method is to get a lit candle and run it around the door and window seals. If the candle flame flutters, there is an air leak. Mark the spot with a pencil and move on. Later you can return and seal up the pencil marked air leak areas with a good quality sealant. This may be less accurate than a professional approach, but it’s better than doing nothing and losing treated air.
Pay Attention to the Sun
As far as passive heating and cooling goes, the sun can be your friend in winter and your enemy in summer. During the colder months, it’s a great idea to get those curtains and blinds open and allow that warm sunshine to stream into your home. During the hottest parts of the year, you need to keep the sun out of your home as much as possible. Drawing blinds and closing curtains may seem extreme, but a room that’s being heated by the sun will be harder for your air conditioning to cool down. More energy will be expended, and the equipment will be working harder than it should. If you increase the shade around your home, it’s possible to break up the direct sunlight. Think about adding a retractable sunshade or some trees at key points where the sunlight is strongest.
Keep the Vents Clear
Many homes have a central HVAC system that delivers the treated air to vents in each room via a network of ducts. This is an efficient system if the vents are kept clear, but many people block the vents with large pieces of furniture or other items when they are not in use. This will make the air conditioning less efficient, and it can cause other problems such as damp and mould growth in affected rooms. The air flow to the affected room and other rooms in the home will also be decreased due to the change in air pressure. At the start of each cooling and heating season, visit each room in turn and make sure that the vents are all clear and your HVAC systems will work better.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Many devices installed in modern homes are now “smart” technology that adds a host of extra features and unparalleled levels of control. A smart thermostat is a great way to control your HVAC system remotely using an app on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The app will display an incredible amount of information, and you can really dive deep into how much energy you’re using, the temperatures throughout the day, and the current air flow. Because the control is remote, you can make adjustments from anywhere, so if you’re delayed at work and your AC is set to come on at a set time, you can adjust it to come on a little later. Little changes like this make using the air conditioner more efficient, and they save energy because the system will run only when you want it to.
Check the Ducts
The ductwork in many homes is clogged with a variety of materials, such as dust, debris, mould growth, and even insect nests or animal remains. When the treated air is pumped through the ducts by the blower unit and the fan, this material is distributed throughout the home. This lowers the air quality, and more importantly in terms of efficiency, it lowers the air flow. Another potential problem is gaps and cracks in the ducts that can allow treated air to escape. Many ducts are located in hard to reach areas, so it’s a great idea to get them checked and cleaned every few years be an HVAC specialist. This will ensure that the air flow is maximised and the air quality will be significantly improved.
Install Solar Panels
If you don’t have any solar panels installed yet, it’s worth taking a look at them to offset your air conditioning costs. Solar panels have come a long way in the last few years, and they are a passive way to generate some free power. Even a modest rooftop system can pay for itself in a few years with lower energy bills.
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