Central Air Conditioning
There has never been a better time to upgrade your air conditioning equipment. Electricity prices are newly deregulated, and you can ward off large price increases by switching to modern, high-efficiency equipment.
The U.S. Energy Star® program says that replacing 12-year-old air conditioning equipment with an Energy Star-qualified model can cut your cooling costs by 30 percent. The most efficient equipment has a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 15 or more, and the minimum allowable in new equipment is 13. (Many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less.)
You can keep your home more comfortable and reduce the amount of electricity you use for cooling by following some of these conservation tips:
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Don't set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
- Make sure the output of your air conditioner is right for the size of your room or house to ensure optimum efficiency and comfort.
- Change or clean your air conditioning filter monthly during the cooling season to improve efficiency (and extend the life of your air conditioner).
- Keep the coils of your central or window air conditioner free of dust and dirt. A dirty coil reduces the system's ability to cool your home and causes the system to run longer, costing you more energy dollars.
- Clean cool-air registers as needed and make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
- Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes of finishing your cooking or bathing.
- Keep shades and curtains closed during the day to prevent solar gain.
- Insulate your home thoroughly and seal air leaks.
- Don't place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Cook on the grill to keep cooking heat outside the home.
- Install reflective window coatings to reflect heat away from your home.
- Open windows on cool summer days and nights. A good rule of thumb is to open windows only when the outside temperature is cooler than the inside of your house.
- If you use window air conditioners, plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
- If you use window air conditioners, consider using interior fans in conjunction with your window units to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
For more information, please contact us.