This morning I enjoyed my morning coffee outside on the porch swing. Sunshine, birds singing and green leaves dancing in the slight breeze. Moments like this we wish would last forever. And if we live in San Diego, maybe it can happen. But we live in West Texas. Summer’s coming. The sun will be shining, but we’ll likely choose to enjoy our morning coffee inside our air conditioned homes.
Whether staying warm in winter or keeping cool in summer, climate control is a daily blessing. It takes energy to run a furnace and an air conditioner. We’re reminded of the cost each month when we open our electric bill. When it’s 100 degrees outside, we’ll gladly pay to stay cool. Yet are there ways to keep our cool and save money?
Pay attention. I know, it sounds like something your Dad would say. But paying attention can save you money. Pay attention to when we get those cloudy days with lower temperatures. If it’s 69 degrees outside, turn off the AC and open the windows. Don’t spend money to cool your home when the weather will do it for you. Plus, it’s healthy to get fresh air into your home.
Pay attention to your thermostat. Especially if you have kids! They may come in from a hot afternoon of ball games and think that cranking down the temperature on the thermostat will cool them off quicker. It won’t. But not noticing for two days will cost you extra money on your energy bill.
Look for leaks. Air leaks, that is. If your AC unit is working to cool your home while in a back bedroom there’s a window open, you’re paying to cool the outdoors. Make it a habit to do a once around the house each day to be sure your money isn’t disappearing into the atmosphere.
Make wise use of curtains and blinds. You wouldn’t think of standing in front of your open refrigerator holding a running blow dryer. Essentially, that’s what we’re doing when we run our AC unit with uncovered windows and sunshine pouring in. We’re trying to cool something without blocking the external heat source.
Make use of your curtains and blinds to strategically keep the sunshine at bay during those hot hours. It’s been estimated that one can save up to 15% on energy costs by wisely using shutters and blinds. Your AC unit will cool faster and not work as hard to maintain temperature. In winter, the reverse is true. Curtains and blinds will keep the heat in and the cold out.
Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat. This is an excellent weapon in the fight against high energy bills. Programmable thermostats allow you to adjust to different set points throughout the day. You can program a slightly higher temperature during work hours when no one is at home, then set it to automatically drop the temperature right before you arrive home. The savings are considerable.
blowin’ in the wind. It’s dirt. Windy places like West Texas require more frequent filter replacements. A clean filter once a month will keep you cooler by not allowing particulates deep into your AC system. The more dirt that accumulates, the harder your system works. The harder your system works, the shorter its lifespan. Clean filters will also keep your energy bills lower!
Use fans. Moving air creates a “chill effect”. The air blowing over your skin, combined with your body’s natural cooking system (perspiration) lowers the temperature near your skin. As an example, have you noticed how cold you feel when coming out of the swimming pool into a stiff breeze? Lots of moving air hitting lots of water means you cool faster.
Strategically placed fans, ceiling and floor, keep air moving. It allows you to set your thermostat slightly higher and save on energy costs.
Your friends at Sinclair are experts in everything heating and cooling. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to inspect your system to be sure it’s operating at peak efficiency. We want you to keep your cool while keeping more money in your pocket. 806-749-COOL (2665)