It’s that time of year again – time to begin the debate of “do we turn on the air conditioning yet or do we wait it out?” It’s only April but it’s already HOT in many parts of the country, including the Midwest where I live. So in case you were wondering, I gave in and turned on the air conditioning. I’m sorry, but 90 degrees is air conditioning weather regardless of the time of the year.
That being said, air conditioning is expensive so we don’t want to run it more than we have to. And when we do run it, we want it to work as efficiently as possible. Fortunately there are things we can do to improve our air conditioner’s efficiency and possibly reduce our bill a little bit in the process.
- Close curtains on windows receiving full sun. My house faces the east so it’s helpful if I keep the curtains on the front closed in the morning. The back of the house faces the west, so in late afternoon, it’s really helpful to close those curtains. I hate having my curtains closed, but when it’s really hot, I’ll do it.
- Be sure all the windows are shut and locked. If they’re only shut, a little bit of hot air could still come in. And sometimes you discover windows that aren’t shut at all! If it’s not too much trouble, it’s also helpful to close storm windows if you have them.
- Don’t use the oven during the hottest part of the day. If you need to use the oven, try to use it in the morning when it’s cooler.
- Use cooking appliances other than the oven whenever possible. Summer is a great time to use the crock pot, the microwave, the George Foreman or grill outside!
- Make sure the condenser unit outside is clean. The coils should be free of leaves, grass or tree seeds. If the unit is dirty, hose it off.
- Be sure the filter on the furnace has been changed recently.
- If your a/c doesn’t seem to be working very well, have it serviced. Sometimes it just needs a tweak.
- As much as possible, be sure the vents are unobstructed.
What other strategies do you have for making the most of your air conditioner?