Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Keep cool, stay efficient during extreme heat

  • Keep heat-producing devices, including lamps and TVs, away from your thermostat. They can create a temperature higher than the true room temperature that leads to excessive cooling and wasted energy. 
  • Keep the air conditioner condenser and filter clean. Keep leaves, grass and other debris away from the outside condenser. Also, clean the filter monthly and replace it as needed. (Your central AC uses the same filter as your furnace.) A clean condenser and filter help the unit run more efficiently. 
  • Increase the thermostat setting. When at home, set it a few degrees higher to save energy. When leaving, move it even higher -- about 80 degrees. Cooling the house when you return costs less than keeping it cool all the time. 
  • Keep the sun out. Close blinds, shades and drapes on the sunny side of your home during the day to keep the house cooler, causing the air conditioner to use less energy to get the temperature to a comfortable level. 
  • Cool only rooms in use. Close unused rooms to avoid cooling them. 
  • Don’t make more heat. Delay dishwashing, cooking and laundering until cooler time of day or evening. 
  • Use microwave or outdoor grill rather than standard oven or range. 
  • Turn off electronics. Don’t leave TVs, stereos and computers on if not in use. They produce heat that makes your air conditioner work more. 
  • Keep vents clear. Keep furniture and drapes away from air vents to allow cool air to move and keep your air conditioner from working more than necessary. 
  • If you use a room air conditioner, use a plug-in timer and set it to turn off when you leave home and to turn it on just before you return. 
  • Don’t set the thermostat at high initially. When you first turn on your room air conditioner, set the thermostat at normal or medium. Setting it colder won’t cool the room any faster. 
  • If you buy a room air conditioner, locate it centrally and keep it out of the sun if possible to help it operate more efficiently. 
  • Close the fresh-air vent on a room air conditioner to avoid cooling outside air. Open the vent when outside air is cooler. 
  • Use fans with your air conditioner to circulate cool air. This allows you to raise the temperature and still be comfortable. Use oscillating and ceiling fans for best circulation.

No comments: