You probably know that being energy efficient does not always mean buying new appliances. Sure, in better economic times, it was common for consumers to buy new and get Energy Efficient Air Conditioners. But with money tighter now, it can be wiser and cheaper to repair, even with the cost of labor, than buy a new appliance. Replacing your HVAC unit? That’s a last resort, although even that can be planned ahead of time to avoid an emergency purchase at a high price. You don’t need to go busting out a credit card just to be more energy efficient. Some smart, simple energy-efficient decisions in your home can make a noticeable difference.
Some of the practical energy-efficient ways you can cool down a room on a hot day are:
- Install ceiling fans not just for decorative purpose but to help circulate the cool air. During hot months, you can even switch the ceiling fans to rotate counter clockwise for an artificial wind chill.
- Install shade indoor (curtains, tint, or drapes) and outdoor (awnings) to block the sunlight. This will keep a steadier temperature and avoid your AC having to work overtime.
- Buy 2 thermometers you can hang inside the house and outside the house to compare temperatures and get a better sense of ideal settings.
- Plan your cooking so it is done early in the morning and late in the afternoon to prevent additional heat inside the home.
- Get a programmable smart thermostat to help you save on electricity costs. This can reduce your bill as much as 10%.
- Install additional bulk and reflective insulation and check for damages to your existing window and door insulation.
- Have a professional check the electrical at least every 2 years and every year for the A/C unit
As far as your A/C is concerned, determine its age and current condition. It does not necessarily follow that an old unit is in poor condition compared to a relatively new unit. With proper maintenance and regular professional cleaning, you can extend the usual 10 year life span to 15 years.
Older units and ductwork do, however, tend to cost more to operate. Your chances of a lower energy bill, in general, is much higher with an energy-efficient, newer model and updated ductwork.
If you plan to buy a new A/C unit, here are a few tips to take into consideration:
- Consider buying an air-conditioning system with the inverter technology because it can save you up to 40% in energy usage for standard units.
- Talk to your local A/C professional (or call us at airaroundtheclock) about cooling load before you buy a unit. This will impact the performance of your new appliance because it will be based on the room where the unit will be installed. If you choose a small HP air-conditioner for a large room, you will be stressing the unit, not be able to enjoy cool air, and probably end up with a high electrical bill.
Finally, if you decide to buy a portable unit, don’t hesitate to ask the experts before you purchase your unit because outstanding marketing could cover up performance issues and you may end up with disappointment over unmet expectations.