Summer is here at last. It’s time to shed those winter layers, drench ourselves in sunlight, and enjoy the warmer weather.
As the intense Aussie heat kicks into gear, our air conditioners will need to be poised and ready to fight back against the weather and create cool indoor sanctuaries. This is a big task for even the best of air conditioners. But there are a few steps you can take to give your beloved appliance a helping hand. These tips will help to improve the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner, as well as offer you impressive savings throughout the summer season.
Clean Your Vents and Ducts
One of the best ways to ensure your air conditioner is performing efficiently is to keep both your vents and ducts nice and clean. Over time, your vents can become infested with different household debris such as dust, dirt and pet hair. This can clog your ducts, creating an uneven and inefficient airflow from your cooling system.
You can do a basic clean of your indoor vents yourself. If your vents are looking dirty, it’s time to break out the vacuum and suck up any of the visible debris that could be affecting your air conditioning performance. This should help to boost the efficiency of your system, at least on a small scale.
For more thorough cleaning, you’ll need to face your ducts. Air ducts are a treasure trove of forgotten dust and debris. They can also be the perfect nest for dust mites and insects to gather. When your heating and cooling system is in use, these nasty particles will be dispersed into your home, which may lead to respiratory problems for those in your household.
It’s recommended that you get a professional duct cleaning service at least once every two to four years. Not only will this vastly improve your air conditioner’s efficiency, but it will also provide clean and healthy air throughout your home.
Shut Out the Sun
When the summer heat is in full swing, day time can be a scary prospect. Across the peak of the day, the sun will beam down intensely on your home and absorb in through any exposed windows. This will heat up the inside of your home and force your AC to work even harder to do its job.
A good way to combat this is to shut all your curtains and blinds first thing in the morning. This will protect your house from the hottest time of the day so that you can come home to a much cooler space. This also lends a much-needed helping hand to your air conditioning unit, which won’t need to work anywhere near as hard to create a refreshing indoor climate.
Avoid Using Appliances that Produce Heat
The middle of a hot summer’s day is definitely not the time to cook a big roast or take your dryer for a spin. When your dryer is in use, warm air will be drawn into your home. In a similar fashion, using your oven will also add extra warmth to your indoor airflow. Running either appliance during a hot day will be a huge hindrance to your air conditioner, and it will need to use a lot more energy to compete with the extra heat.
You should also avoid placing lamps or similar appliances near your indoor thermostat. As lamps give off heat when in use, they may affect the air temperature around the thermostat. This will trick the temperature gauge into thinking your indoor climate is warmer than in reality. In response, it will kick your air conditioner up a notch, making the system work harder and longer than it needs to.
Insulate Exposed Ductwork
Out of sight out of mind may not be the best approach when it comes to the air ducts in your home. You may have exposed ductwork in your roof, and it may be leaking. This is a big issue, as it means your conditioned air is being wasted into an unused area, which will interfere with your system’s energy efficiency.
You can do a quick DIY fix to visible leaks with special duct-sealing tape sourced from your local hardware shop. However, this is at best a temporary solution. If you suspect a leak in your air ducts, it’s best to call in an expert to complete a maintenance check and repair service for your ducted system. They’ll be able to repair any leaks and properly insulate your ducts for ongoing performance efficiency.
Increase Your Thermostat Temperature
It might not sound like much, but a few degrees could be the difference between big savings or big spendings over summer. An invaluable tip for reducing both your energy consumption and cooling bill is to simply be smart with your indoor temperature setting.
The goal is to set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature that cools you off whilst easing your air conditioner’s workload. As a rough guide, this temperature should typically sit somewhere between 22 and 24 degrees Celcius. But, as a general rule, aim to not set your thermostat any lower than 8 degrees below the outside climate.
Remember, every degree counts. Even setting your air con one degree warmer than you would usually set it can save you up to 10% on your cooling costs over summer.