Keeping cool during the hot, humid summers in Manassas, Virginia, is difficult, and some people make mistakes that waste money and force their air conditioners to use more energy to keep their families comfortable. Forgetting a simple task like changing your air filter or having your unit inspected by a professional can increase your utility bills. Some common summertime AC mistakes are not using fans, putting a thermostat in the wrong place, turning temperatures down too much, and keeping your outdated AC.
1. Forgetting About Ceiling Fans
Many people think of ceiling fans as just decorative light fixtures, but they’re actually very useful. When you use a fan, it creates a cool breeze that makes people feel more comfortable at higher temperatures. Just remember to turn fans off in unoccupied rooms and change the directions of your fans for summer. If your fans are spinning clockwise, they can make rooms feel warmer by distributing hot air near the ceiling. To switch to a cooling counterclockwise setting, flip the small switch in the center of each fan after climbing a ladder or stepladder. Otherwise, your fan could waste energy instead of helping you save.
2. Putting a Thermostat in the Wrong Place
If you put your thermostat near a window or a door, the temperature outside could influence the temperature reading inside. This causes your HVAC system to run longer in summer and winter because the thermostat says your home is hotter or colder than it actually is. You should also keep your thermostat away from direct sunlight, the outer walls of your home, and TVs, computers, ovens, and other heat-producing devices.
Hallways with no direct connection to the outside and no major appliances nearby are usually the best spots for thermostats. If your home has more than one floor, you should use two or more thermostats, since higher floors tend to be warmer. You can save even more by adding a zoning system so you can cool only occupied areas. That way, you can turn off the AC on your second floor when everyone goes to the first floor.
3. Turning Your Air Conditioner Down Too Much
Many people turn their air conditioners down to a low temperature, like 60 degrees, when they come home after jogging or doing yard work on a hot day. Even walking from your driveway to your front door can be uncomfortable on some days. However, setting your HVAC system to a very low temperature won’t make you feel cool any faster.
Your air conditioner will bring your home to a comfortable temperature, and then it will cause goosebumps and make you want to reach for a blanket in the middle of summer. Instead of running your AC too long and wasting energy, take a cold shower or lie down for a few minutes with an ice pack.
4. Keeping Your Outdated Air Conditioner
If you’ve used the same air conditioner for more than a decade or you have to pay for frequent repairs, go ahead and replace your unit. A new air conditioner is a big investment, but a more efficient model can save you lots of money on utility bills and repairs. Don’t wait to upgrade your system because it’s working now. An inconvenient, uncomfortable breakdown could be days or weeks away, and worn wiring could become a fire hazard. Many parts for older systems are expensive and hard to find, so a new system is usually less expensive than a major repair.
Even if you change your system’s air filter once per month, your indoor air quality will get worse if you have an older unit. You could notice an unpleasant smell, skin and eye irritation, sinus problems, or worsened asthma or allergy symptoms. Older systems can’t remove pollutants like mold, dust, dirt, or pollen from your home’s air as well as newer models.
Griffith Energy Services can help you avoid mistakes and save energy in summer. We have more than 100 years of experience, and we can help you install, maintain, and repair a range of heating and air conditioning equipment. Call us anytime at 888-474-3391 for excellent service from one of our skilled professionals.
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