Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Niche Snowboard's Eco-Tip Tuesday: Give Your Air Conditioner a Break

As the weather reminds us that it’s not winter yet, many of us are putting heavy use on air conditioners, which takes a lot of power. We’re not going to say not to use them (it’s pretty darn hot out there!) but there are some things you can do so your air conditioner is doing its best.
  • First, make sure to clean your AC unit and filters regularly.  It’s much more efficient when there isn’t a bunch of gunk to force the air through.
  • If you can, leave windows open during the cooler nights with the AC off to fill your home with cool air, then close them as soon as the sun comes up.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed during the day, especially if the sun hits them.
  • Use light-colored curtains or blinds during the summer to reflect heat – a double-curtain works well if you want light colors facing the outside but not the inside.
  • Consider fans – a nice breeze can make you feel several degrees cooler, and a fan can be run in only the room you’re in instead of the whole home like an AC.  During days that aren’t so hot, just the fan may be enough.  Make sure your ceiling fans are set to push air downward, so you get the benefits of the wind chill effect, if you have the option of which direction to push the air.
  • Per LivingEfficiently.org, the AC does not work harder to cool down a warm house after being off all day.  It does take a little while to cool things down so if you have a fancy programmable thermostat, set it to turn on thirty minutes before you plan to arrive home, and you won’t even notice the heat.  Leave the AC off while nobody is home and say hello to a lower power bill… unless you have pets of course, definitely let your pets be nice and cool!
  • Set your AC to the temperature you want it.  Setting it at a colder temp doesn’t make it work harder, better, faster, or stronger (sorry Daft Punk), it just stays on longer than you need it to.
Eco-Tip Tuesday: Give Your Air Conditioner a Break: "Eco-Tip Tuesday #11: Give the AC a Break"

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