Heating and cooling have been around for many decades, but many homeowners still don't quite understand how their air conditioners work or how to get the most out of them. Simply turning down the temperature on your thermostat will surely result in a cooler home, but if you want your home to cool off as efficiently and evenly as possible, it helps to know a bit more than that. Here are four steps to a more comfortable home without such a high price tag.
Once it's on, leave it on.
Some homeowners attempt to save energy by turning their air conditioning on during the day and off at night. However, when you keep cycling the system on and off like this, humidity tends to build back up in the air. Then, your AC has to work harder to remove this humidity again. (Removing humidity is, in part, how it cools your space.) It's better to just turn the AC on and then leave it on. If you want to turn it up a few degrees at night, that's okay. But leaving it on ensures that if the humidity starts to climb, the AC can deal with it immediately rather than having to work overtime when the humidity gets very high.
Leave all of your vents open.
Closing a few vents in rooms you don't use might sound like a good idea, but it actually puts strain on your air conditioner and may result in higher cooling bills overall. When you close some of the vents, air pressure builds up in the ducts, and your blower unit has to work extra hard to blow additional air through them. Leave all of your vents open for better cooling and fewer AC repairs.
Keep doors between floors closed.
Especially on really hot days, it's helpful to keep the doors between levels of your home shut. For example, keep the basement door and the door that leads to your upstairs closed. Hot air rises, and if you leave the doors open, the upstairs of your home will grow warmer and warmer as the downstairs stays nice and cool. Closing the doors keeps the cold air in its place.
Change the air filter.
Your air conditioner's filter is designed to keep your home and ducts clean. But failing to change it will do more than result in dusty surfaces. It' hard for your AC unit to blow air through a dusty, dirty filter. Change it once a month, and your system will do a better, more efficient job of cooling your home.