Staying cool doesn't mean you have to pay a fortune to keep your Central Air Conditioning (AC) running day and night. Instead, take advantage of other, easy solutions to help maximize cooling. Solutions that find the balance between escaping the heat without incurring high utility bills. The following tips are proven to help keep your home cooler, according to experts, such as the professionals at Covenant Heating & Air Conditioning.
Set Your Thermostat to the Right Setting
Below are typical Central AC recommended settings for a programmable thermostat at different times of day:
6 a.m. to 9 a.m. = 75 degrees
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. = 80 degrees
5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. = 75 degrees
11 p.m. to 6 a.m. = 80 degrees
Higher thermostat settings save significantly on energy costs.
Set your Central AC thermostat above 78 degrees to save 5 to 8 percent on cooling costs with each degree above that mark. For a typical home, setting the thermostat at 80 degrees saves 10 to 15 percent & raising it to 85 degrees will save 35 to 55 percent.
If leaving home for over one hour, set the thermostat to 85 or 90 degrees. Reset it upon your return, and cool down happens in just 15 minutes. The AC system will use less energy during the cool-down period than if you had left it running at a lower setting while you were out.
- Costs nothing
- Reduces your cooling costs by 15 to 20 percent
The additional air flow created by ceiling fans cools your home efficiently on milder days. On hotter days, ceiling fans enhance the impact of your Central AC units that otherwise strain the AC system. Your home can also feel uncomfortable due to stagnant warm air. The counterclockwise spinning motion of a ceiling fan pushes cool air down towards the floor, creating a cool breeze for living spaces, such as bedrooms. Basements with limited airflow also benefit from a well-placed ceiling fan.
When you are in a room for a short amount of time, a ceiling fan can be a better alternative than turning up the AC thermostat. Ceiling fans use small amounts of electricity in comparison.
- Ceiling fans cost $30 to $200. Floor fans cost around $20, and whole-house fans run from $300 to $600.
- Ceiling fans can decrease your cooling bill by up to 15 percent, while a whole-house fan can slash it by 50 percent.
Blinds, Plants And Natural Shade
Utilize shade and close the blinds. Sounds too simple, right? But it works! Keeping the sun from shining through your windows deflects a large amount of ambient heat. This is maximized in a home with passive house design which has a layout/design to retain heat in winter and deflect it in summer:
Passive house design utilizes blinds, awnings and plants for shade. Light colored blinds are chosen since they reflect more heat than dark blinds. A light cream or grey curtain will not retain as much heat as a black or dark grey one. Simple, decorative changes can make an impact.
Exterior awnings, shade cloths or roller blinds are also utilized, keeping sun off windows, stopping heat from even reaching the glass. Deflecting sunlight off your home postpones the harsh effects of the summer season.
Plants and trees can also be impactful such as planting deciduous trees along fences. This benefits home cooling since it absorbs excess heat from concrete, paving and other harsh surfaces. Thick foliage provides shade in summer, while in winter the lack of leaves means more direct sunlight helps a home stay warm.
Window Glazing or Film
Window glazing greatly helps in keeping your home cool and in winter traps heat during cold temperatures. Window glazing can be costly and the more windows the higher the expenses. A more affordable alternative to glazing is heat-reducing window film, a high-performing solution with similar results. Today’s window film effectively blocks heat in summer, while also creating a reliable barrier against harmful UV rays. Your home feels cooler in the daytime and your home furnishings will last longer and won’t fade.
Window film adheres easily to any window making it an appropriate DIY task.
Leading brands report reduction of up to 78% of the sun’s heat that otherwise is absorbed by windows (results can vary depending on film quality). Up to 99% of UV rays are blocked.
We all know that ovens release heat into the kitchen. Gas ovens especially, due to additional heat vented out. Electric ovens produce less heat since they are self-contained without the extra ventilation required by gas. Whether a gas or electric oven, roasting or baking in them during summer heat seriously challenges your Central AC in cooling your home. To avoid the ambient heat of an oven at 400 degrees+, instead fire up your outdoor grill! No outdoor grill? Reduce heat in your home by using only the cooktop, and not the oven. Slow cookers and air fryers also produce less ambient heat.
Natural cooling can be as simple as opening the windows at night (except not during a heatwave). Temperature drops as the sun sets, sometimes accompanied by a cool breeze. Opening windows throughout your home improves air circulation. If night temperatures are cool enough - shut off the Central AC.
Implementing these Cooling Tips Helps You Enjoy the Summer Season.
If you need to assess your Central AC readiness, consult with the experts at Covenant Heating & Air Conditioning, the exclusive Pekin, Peoria, East Peoria and Lincoln area dealer for Goodman™ and Carrier® Central AC. Covenant services over 5,000 property owners in this area and offers service maintenance packages, providing you peace of mind you can count on. They can also help you save money with a new system or a system upgrade with programs like Ameren's incentive program for Illinois residents.