As necessary as it is for a hot summer climate, your air conditioning can be quite the energy hog. This makes sense when you consider the large amount of energy it takes to remove moisture from the air and cool it to a lower temperature. If you’re not careful, then, your air conditioner can be quite hard on your pocketbook and on the environment. To help lessen your environmental impact, here are a few tips to help you be more eco-friendly with your air conditioning.
If it’s time to replace your current air conditioner, then it’s important that you start right to ensure a minimal environmental impact. Look for a high SEER or Energy Star rating to find a unit that is designed to use less energy than other models in its class. Also crucial during this step is that you buy a unit that’s the correct size for your home, as a unit that’s either undersized or oversized can cause a negative environmental impact.
Let the Air Flow
As a unit, your HVAC system needs all the help it can get to operate as efficiently as possible. One way to do this is to change your air filter on a regular basis. Don’t wait until you happen to stumble upon a totally clogged air filter to swap it out with a new unit, as this uses more energy and could require a visit from residential air conditioning contractors. Instead, set yourself regular reminders to check on your air filter and see if it needs to be replaced. A clean air filter allows the maximum amount of air to flow through, meaning your air conditioner and other HVAC components will use less energy to keep your home cool.
A Degree of Separation
One of the best ways to be more eco-friendly with your air conditioner is to utilize it less. In most cases, this means turning up your thermostat one degree or more so that the air conditioner doesn’t kick on as much.
One tip for success with this step is to increase your temperature gradually. If you go from a setting of 68-degrees today to a setting of 72-degrees tomorrow, you’re probably going to be pretty miserable and give up on your energy-saving experiment. If, however, you increase the temperature gradually, you give your body more time to get used to the higher temperature and give yourself better odds of sticking with the change for the long-term.
Attract Some Fans
Another way to increase the eco-friendliness of your air conditioner is to utilize fans throughout your home. Whether you use ceiling fans, stand fans, box fans, or some other type of fan, these devices can help you feel cooler by moving air over your skin, meaning you can adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature and maintain the same level of comfort. It’s important, though, that you turn the fans off when you leave a room, as they only make the air feel cooler rather than actually cooling it as your air conditioner does, so they provide no benefit if you aren’t around.
Out and About
Of course, another great way to save energy is to simply leave your home, altogether. If you have errands to run or a trip to take, you can take advantage of someone else’s air conditioner and let yours run as little as possible. You may even find that the heat between your home and your car isn’t as bad as you thought it was, allowing you to change your temperature settings when you return home.