Knightdale, NC, June 2011 – As electricity prices are expected to rise along with hot summer temps, it’s causing many to look for ways to cut back on expenses. Lee Hill, Vice-President of Weather Master, a local heating and cooling company says, “Homeowners can beat the heat this summer, reduce their air conditioning (a/c) usage, while still enjoying savings by following a few simple tips.”
According to Hill, “One easy tip is to seasonally adjust your drapes, blinds or curtains. By closing your blinds or drapes on east or west facing windows, you can keep the sun’s direct rays from entering your home. This helps reduce the amount of effort your air conditioner puts forth to keep your home cool. In the evening, open the drapes, blinds or curtains to allow the heat to escape back out through the windows of your home.”
Another simple task is to shade your outdoor air conditioning unit. “The ideal location for your air conditioner is on the north side of your home, however, this is not always feasible. Landscaping such as trees or shrubs can provide shade, keep the direct sun off of your house, while making your yard look nice,” says Hill. Hill reminds homeowners that they should “keep in mind an air conditioner needs to have at least 2 feet clearance around and above for proper air circulation, and to maintain access for maintenance and repair.”
“During the summer when your system is running more frequently it’s especially important to be diligent about checking and changing your filter,” says Hill. “Changing or cleaning an air conditioning filter on a regular basis increases system efficiency and helps lower utility costs. Conversely, a dirty filter lowers the efficiency of a cooling system, increases utility costs, while making a system run harder and longer.”
According to Hill, “An air conditioning tune-up can help you save money this summer. A tune-up ensures that your system is running efficiently and safely, while saving you money and giving you peace of mind.” Studies show that air conditioners at peak efficiency will use up to 20% less electricity and last years longer. “In most cases, the savings you get in lower utility costs more than makes up for the cost of the tune-up,” says Hill.
Hill states, “Using fans around your home is another way to help cool your home while reducing a/c usage. Fans help move cool air and ease your air conditioners workload. In some cases fans provide enough cool air so that you can turn your air conditioner above 78 degrees, saving a great deal of energy.”
As they say, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” “A dehumidifier rids your home of humidity while helping your family feel more comfortable. A dehumidifier may even allow you to feel more comfortable at a higher thermostat setting (like 78 degrees), helping to reduce your energy usage,” says Hill.
“And lastly, if you can, leave heat generating chores such as cooking, washing (or drying) clothes, and dishwashing for the cooler parts of the day. Also keep in mind, labor-intensive tasks during the hottest times of the day will make you feel uncomfortable. If possible, do them in the early morning or evening when the heat isn’t as bad,” says Hill.
By following a few simple tips homeowners can decrease their air conditioning usage, reduce their energy usage, cut costs, and still stay cool this summer.
Weather Master Heating and Air has been serving Wake, Durham, Granville, Orange, Chatham and Johnston counties since 1977. By providing the very best in air conditioning, heating and plumbing equipment and service, Weather Master Heating and Air delivers world-class service with a small-company touch. They are committed to doing “Whatever It Takes” to deliver immediate comfort to North Carolinians.