It’s here – and it’s here early. It’s that time of year when your air conditioner cranks to life and keeps your home cool and comfortable. And while it’s not quite time for your AC to run around the clock, it’s certainly already warm enough outside to make you aware of how nice it is to have a fully functional air conditioner.
That also means that it’s time for budget conscious people to start worrying about how much their air conditioner is costing them in electricity bills.
Certainly, there is ample reason to take notice of your AC usage, especially when you consider that, according to Energy.gov: “Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of about $29 billion to homeowners.” (https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/air-conditioning)
And while your own air conditioner isn’t responsible for anywhere near that amount on its own, you’ll know that a constantly running AC is a major drain on your wallet. And you’re probably already trying to figure out ways to cut back on air conditioner usage while making your home comfort as efficient as possible. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help reach peak efficiency, and we will try to answer some of those questions here.
Perhaps the question we get asked most is: Should I turn my AC off when I’m not home?
The answer: No, at least not entirely.
The most effective way to utilize your air conditioner when you’re not home is by turning the temperature on your thermostat up a few degrees. Leave it running, but do not ask it to run as much, and you will be able to save some money.
The reasons for this are twofold:
It will still keep your home from getting extremely uncomfortable.
It will allow your air conditioner to not have to run as much, thus saving you money.
Now, that does mean that you will need to get used to warmer indoor temperatures when you return home. But you do not need to worry about the old wives’ tale of, “well, if you turn your AC down during the day, it will just have to work harder to cool you off in the evening.”
That’s because your air conditioner can only work so hard and turning it down at certain points of the day does not mean that it will suddenly burn more energy to cool you off when you return.
What it does mean, however, is that your AC may have to run a little longer to get your home to your desired temperature when you return. However, it will not necessarily “work harder.” And if the outside temperature is cooler when you ask your air conditioning to work, it may not have to cool as long to reach your desired indoor temperature.
The other reason for not turning your air conditioner completely off when you are not home is that your AC does more than just cool the air inside your home. It also removes moisture from the air.
Therefore, if you turn your air conditioner completely off for large portions of the day, you may even do damage to elements of your home by exposing them to considerable moisture – especially when you consider that we live in north Georgia.
If you have any pets, you should also consider their health, as completely turning the AC off when they are stuck at home will make them uncomfortable – as well as encourage their natural odors to more permeate your home.
The best news is that modern technology offers a way to perfectly balance efficiency and AC run time and comfort – it is called a “smart thermostat”. These little devices can do wonders for your home comfort and efficiency and are now readily available to integrate with your home comfort system.
Smart thermostats not only better control your use of the AC, but they also even learn your life and home habits and can adjust to those habits – ensuring maximum comfort without having to constantly run your air conditioner. And because they have now been on the market for a while, their technology is affordable for a whole range of budgets.
All modern, professional HVAC contractors know how to install and sync smart thermostats, so if you are looking for peak efficiency and comfort, perhaps you should ask your professional HVAC contractor about the smart thermostat options they offer.
There are other steps you can take to help maintain a cool and comfortable home – even in the height of a north Georgia summer – such as installing blinds, doing your laundry at night, and cooking on the grill as much as possible.
Follow these steps, and you can do much to keep your electrical bills in check. If you would like further information or ideas on how to streamline and improve your HVAC efficiency in the north Georgia or metro Atlanta area, consider reaching out to Conditioned Air Systems. Our expert and NATE-certified technicians will be able to get your HVAC running at peak efficiency while also showing you how to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Through five decades, Conditioned Air has been keeping families comfortable – all without breaking the bank. And we’re happy to help you enjoy the same. Call us today at 770-536-7509 and tell us how we can help.