Ah, summertime. Time to pack a cooler and hit the beach, right? More like time to escape the heat and stay indoors! As a Gainesville homeowner, you know that Florida summers can be brutal. And while our air conditioning systems are our best friends during the hottest months, keeping cool comes at a price. Fortunately, you can lessen the cost of your AC usage by taking a few proactive measures. Here’s what we recommend.
1. Use Ceiling Fans
It may sound obvious, but lots of homeowners forget to use their ceiling fans to their advantage. But using your ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioning system can make your home feel five to seven degrees cooler. That’s because a fan doesn’t just cool a room, it makes it more comfortable overall. Ceiling fans, as well as other circulating fans, help disperse cold air more efficiently. This allows you to raise your thermostat by as much as four degrees without sacrificing comfort. Just remember to shut the fan off when no one is around to reap its benefits.
2. Close the Blinds
Whether you have blinds, curtains, or another type of shade, you can experience significant savings by utilizing these window treatments to your advantage. When you close the blindsand use window treatments in conjunction with your air conditioning system can prevent solar heat gain, especially when they’re drawn during the day and at peak sunlight hours.
In fact completely closing the window treatments on a sunny day can reduce heat gain by about 45%. We recommend investing in light-colored window treatments because the lighter the hue, the more they will deflect the sun’s Rays. We also recommend hanging window treatments as close to the window panes as you can since this will enable them to block outdoor heat from coming inside your home.
3. Set Your Thermostat at 78 Degrees When You’re Home
By simply adjusting the setting on your thermostat, you can keep your home comfortable without driving up your energy costs. To maintain both balance and energy efficiency, we recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home, and bumping up the temperature while you’re at work or out of the house.
Doing so can save you five to 15% on your energy bills! While you can do this manually, a programmable thermostat is a convenient way to program your temperature settings for both comfort and efficiency.
4. Rethink Your Home’s Landscaping
While not every homeowner can invest in landscaping services, strategic landscaping can help reduce your cooling costs. This is because most heat that accumulates inside of your home comes directly from the sun shining on the roof or through the windows. The more trees, bushes, and other landscaping you have to block the sun, the cooler at your house will be.
If you can’t landscape your entire yard, even shading the outdoor component of your AC can help reduce cooling costs. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, using strategic landscaping to shade your air conditioner can increase its efficiency efficiency by as much as 10%. Best of all, landscaping can improve your home’s curb appeal as well as increase property value.
5. Avoid Activities That Raise the Temperature Inside of Your Home
During the summer months in Florida, we recommend avoiding my activities that increase the temperature inside of your home. This means avoiding things like baking, cooking large meals on the stovetop, running your hair dryer, as well as running the clothes dryer or the dishwasher.
While these appliances make our lives easier, they also make it harder for your air conditioning system to cool your home during the warmest months. Whenever possible, try to find alternative ways to complete these tasks. This might mean hang drying your clothes outside or gathering your friends and family to have an outdoor BBQ.
6. Replace Your Current AC If It’s Too Old
As your air conditioning system gets older, its performance will eventually decline. While you can have your AC routinely serviced by a professional HVAC technician, once your system has reached the 10 to 15-year mark, it may be time to start considering investing in a new AC. If you are not sure whether or not it’s time to replace your air conditioning system, you can always schedule a consultation with a trusted HVAC company.
7. Schedule AC Maintenance
One of the most important things you can do to prolong the life of your air conditioning system and save money on air conditioning costs during the summer is to schedule an AC maintenance appointment with your local HVAC technician. That’s because no matter how many of these tips and tricks you follow, if you don’t properly care for your HVAC system, it won’t reduce your cooling costs.
During an AC maintenance check, your HVAC technician will perform a comprehensive tune up. This includes things like changing the elf air filter, cleaning the condenser coils and evaporator coils, ensuring there’s no obstructions near the condenser unit, and more. In doing so, you can rest assured that your air conditioning system is functioning as efficiently as possible, saving you money this summer and beyond.
Get Your AC Ready for Summer With A+ Air Conditioning
Let us help you save energy and money with your AC this summer! We provide services throughout north central Florida. And because we understand that a working air conditioner is essential in Florida, we offer 24/7 AC emergency service. Call us at (352) 374-4988 to schedule an appointment.