Relying solely on your air conditioner to make your home comfortable can put unnecessary stress on the system. This can result in your home taking longer to cool down, sky-high energy bills, and--even worse--AC components that wear down prematurely.
Do you know how to take the strain off your air conditioner on a hot day? If not, here are 5 tips to try out this summer!
1. Close all of your window coverings.
Over 75% of the sunlight that comes through a standard, double-pane window becomes heat inside your home (according to the U.S. Department of Energy). You can prevent this easily by simply keeping your curtains and blinds closed throughout the day.
2. Use your ceiling fans.
A ceiling fan redistributes the heat in the room in which it is located, and this can make you feel warmer or cooler. It all depends on the direction in which the fan rotates. During summer, you’ll feel a lot cooler in a room by making its ceiling fan rotate in a counterclockwise direction, which, in turn, will make you less reliant on your air conditioner.
3. Refrain from cooking hot meals indoors in the afternoon and evening.
If you’ve ever used the stove or oven on a hot day, you can feel just how much heat starts to fill up your kitchen and the surrounding rooms. On particularly hot days, instead, opt for grilling in the shade outdoors or eating chilled meals, like salads or cold cut sandwiches.
4. Limit your use of large appliances.
Using big appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers at the peak of a hot day generates a lot of excess heat and humidity. Try to use these appliances only when there are full loads of dishes or clothes to wash. Not only will limiting your use of these appliances help out your AC, but it will also lower your energy bill.
5. Provide shade for your AC system’s outdoor unit.
If your air conditioner’s outdoor unit (AKA. the condenser) is located in a shady spot, it won’t have to work as hard to cool air as it would in direct sunlight. In a pinch, you can put up an outdoor umbrella to cast some shade on the unit. You can also consider installing a fixed or retractable awning or some landscaping to provide shade. Just make sure the unit has at least one foot of horizontal clearance and five feet of vertical clearance.