Steps to conserve AC energy this summer can pay off — literally. Changes you can make to your home and your cooling habits can produce meaningful savings on monthly bills as well as reduce wear and tear on air-conditioning components. Make 2022 the summer you beat the indoor heat — and the increasing cost of keeping cool — by taking these steps to conserve AC energy.
Heat energy naturally migrates from a hot zone into a cooler zone. Unless you take proactive steps, heat infiltration into your house will raise AC energy costs this summer instead of working to conserve AC energy.
Keep heat outdoors by eliminating air leaks that let it in. Renew worn weatherstripping around doors and windows. Seal cracks and gaps in the ceiling and around light fixtures with caulking. Reduce solar heat gain through the roof by making sure the depth of attic insulation meets current EPA standards. During daylight hours, close curtains to shut out sunlight.
Research by the Environmental Protection Agency has identified 78 degrees as the optimum daytime thermostat setting for both efficient AC operation and a comfortable indoor environment.
However, don’t shut off the AC entirely, even when the house is unoccupied during the day. Cooling down an overheated home when you return actually consumes more energy than allowing the AC to run at a higher programmable thermostat setting—up to 85 degrees—during the day.
As an adjunct to central AC, circulating air with an energy-efficient ceiling fan makes a room feel a few degrees cooler than it actually is. However, ceiling fan electrical consumption is typically only 1% that of a central air conditioner.
Bumping the AC thermostat setting up a few degrees while running a ceiling fan saves money without compromising comfort. For each degree you increase the thermostat setting, you reduce AC energy consumption — and the monthly costs of it — by up to 3%.
For more advice about strategies to conserve AC energy this summer, talk to the professionals at Powers Heating & Air.