Summer in North Carolina can be brutal - especially when we don’t know what temperatures to expect each morning. While cool air indoors can be refreshing during these hotter months, it’s also easy for your AC unit to get overworked and overlooked during warmer weather - we’re so caught up with staying cool, we forget the additional costs of running our HVAC constantly. Sometimes the best way to survive the heat isn’t by bumping down your air conditioning unit to the lowest temperature possible.
In order to keep your HVAC running smoothly all summer long while managing to save energy in your home, it’s important to consider smart air conditioning tips and HVAC maintenance that will keep things cool without breaking the bank.
One of the easiest ways to keep things cool in the summer, while staying affordable, is by being strategic about your thermostat location. If you happen to be installing a new smart programmable thermostat in your home for the summer, install your Nest or Ecobee in a darker hallway. It’s not ideal to place your thermostat in areas with too much natural lighting - as the sun’s natural heat and warmth beat down on the controls, your thermostat will sense that warmth and will end up running continuously. Too much exposure to heat just creates additional monthly costs and spikes up your electric bill.
It’s also a good idea to avoid placing lamps or other artificial lights near your thermostat. All the additional heat they produce will fool your thermostat into running for no additional reason. You want your AC to run when it’s necessary - not because it’s sensitive to the additional heat exposure.
One of the easiest ways for your AC to escape the walls of your home is through your windows. If you live in an older home, chances are your windows aren’t designed to retain air conditioning as well as newly constructed homes. Sealing your windows with caulk, window bumpers, or natural air sealant is going to keep your AC inside, and maintain a constant level of air within your home - saving you potentially hundreds of dollars a year. Natural sealants are great for keeping your air conditioning inside, so your home cool even during the hottest summer months.
As tempting as it is to adjust your air conditioner to the lowest setting possible, resist the urge to cool things off that much. For every degree you drop below 78, your energy bill can increase by 8% a month. With those extremely low settings in the 60s, you could be looking at hundreds of extra dollars spent on your air conditioning system - and it’s going to keep running while you’re not home. Setting your thermostat to a consistent temperature while you're gone will help your home maintain a regular level of comfort and coolness during the summer, while saving money.
If you skipped out on annual HVAC spring cleaning, you’re HVAC might not be in peak summer condition. Your heating and cooling system has to be regularly maintained each year, in order for your indoor air quality to stay the same for the entire season of summer. Without regular maintenance, it’s difficult for your HVAC system to stay fully functional
If you haven’t already, get a local HVAC technician to come out and inspect the airflow of your unit - like the experts at Swaim Electric. Your HVAC shouldn’t have to work harder just because it’s summer, and your central air conditioning unit will stay in peak condition for the warmer months ahead. Annual HVAC maintenance and service means a technician will be able to monitor the condition of your outdoor unit, complete services such as replacing filters and cleaning ducts, and will let you know if it’s time to conduct further HVAC repairs and maintenance.
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