There is no doubt that the air conditioner or heat pump are major users of the electrical supply and contribute to your utility bills as a high percentage of the cost. First consider your thermostat. Recommended temperature is 78 degrees. Some will set it higher if they are leaving, but there is a point of diminishing returns. Set it to high and you will have to burn more power to bring it down home to a comfy temperature. And don’t think that AC or heat pump will work faster if you set the temperature to 70 degrees. It doesn’t work that way. The unit will only do so much so fast. It’s best to set it to your desired temperature and let that unit just chug along.
Blinds & Window Treatments for East, West & South Facing Windows
In days past lighting contributed greatly to power consumption, but with modern LED’s, that power consumption been reduced in a major way. It is best to block those windows to reduce the heating of the interior. Those east or west facing windows can be a real problem for experiencing rooms with higher temperatures. South facing windows as well, since we are in the northern hemisphere the sun is always to the south. Windows can be tinted or heavily draped or with curtains to prevent sunlight penetrating the room. Sunlight comes the windows and strikes the floor or furniture where the it is converted to infrared heat. So, cover those windows.
Run Ceiling Fans with Air Conditioner or Heater
Fans use very little power in comparison to the refrigeration units. They help to circulate and distribute air throughout the room. Ceiling fans in every room contribute to relief from the heat, making 78 degrees comfortable. Pedestal fans or counter fans also help. The cost of refrigeration is in running the compressor, fans thus use significantly less power than the AC unit. Flowing air, like a breeze is refreshing, indoors or out.
Hot Humid Climate Ventilation
Building codes dictate that there is to be exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchen to vent humid and hot air to the outside. The problem with kitchens is that by their very nature to crank out a lot of heat. Not a bad thing in the winter, but it adds a lot of work to the AC. If that heat over the stove can be vented outdoors the better. Vents in the bathroom help to keep the humidity down in bedrooms and bath, so for those in hot humid climates in it is to their advantage to vent hot humid air. Humidity and heat are killers, well at least it is very uncomfortable. A dehumidifier may help in the comfort area. Most AC help to dehumidify the air as well.
Shade Outside AC Condenser Unit
Do you have a split system, you know those with the AC units out behind the house on the ground? If they are kept shaded it will significantly impact the efficiency of your refrigeration unit. Along with keeping the coils clean and shaded it will help boost the heat shedding power of your AC. Some homeowners even enclose the units behind a barrier to hide the units and improve the efficiency. Screening should however allow for the free flow of air.
Run Washing Machine & Appliances at Night
Chores, you know dishwashing, clothes washing and drying that sort of thing. If you can save them for the evening hours. The washers and dryers contribute to adding heat into the interior environment. Saving these chores for the evening help reduce the heat impact and make that AC work less.
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Just some quick ideas to be considered for your home to save some on the utility bills and improve the quality of life.
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