People living in the greater Ocala area know how much keeping their home cool in the spring and summer can cost. On a day when the mercury tops 95⁰, a central air unit can run almost non-stop. In August and September, the power bill can be as high as the temperature. With these facts in mind here are a few suggestions on how to make your air conditioner more efficient and lower your monthly power bill.
Most of the heat you feel inside your home is from sunlight coming through windows. If you pull your curtains shut, or lower your blinds, you block the majority of the heat from the sun’s rays. You can further reduce the amount of heat transmitted through your windows by adding awnings; this keeps the heat from sunlight from touching a large area of the window. If you really want to reduce the amount of sunlight that comes through your windows, planting a fast-growing tree will greatly aid in stopping sunlight from coming into or on your home. There are a number of hybrid oak trees designed to grow out as quickly as they grow up to provide a greater amount of shade. Magnolias also grow quickly and provide ample shade. Palm trees are poor shade providers and should be avoided when trying to block sunlight.
Keep it Clean
When your air-conditioner’s condenser coils are dirty, it has to work harder. Condenser coils have been around as long as air-conditioning itself and are vital to a unit’s operation. It is these condenser coils that make your air cold. Warm air from inside your home is pushed from the air handler through the condenser coils and returns cold air into your home from vents. Dirty coils mean the process of removing heat from your home’s air is much less efficient and your air-conditioning bill will be much higher. An air-conditioning technician can clean the condenser coils and return them to maximum working efficiency; it’s like heart surgery for your air-conditioner. Also- keeping ductwork, air handlers, and vents clean will improve efficiency. One of the lowest cost ways you can improve your air-conditioner’s efficiency is to replace dirty air filters. It’s tantamount to trying to suck air through a blanket when your air filter is thoroughly clogged with dust and dander.
If You Can’t Take the Heat
One of the fastest ways to heat up your home is by cooking or doing laundry. Running standard and stovetop ovens are the equivalent of turning on a heater. For hundreds of years, people heated their homes with wood-burning stoves, some can still be found in the basements or garages of households in cold climates. When you decide to cook in the summer, it is best to do it at night, or not at all. Your air-conditioning has trouble competing with the BTU producing machines that are stoves. Clothes dryers are a close second to stoves when it comes to producing heat. Consider taking clothes to a laundry mat in peak summer months rather than drying them at home. Some summer days are hot enough to use a clothesline in the backyard, just watch out for those afternoon thunderstorms.
Your Thermostat is Confused
The temperature in your house may be 70⁰, but your thermostat thinks it is 75⁰ because of the heat from the lamp or TV you placed next to it. Your home may actually be cooler than you think if you have a heat producing item next to the thermostat. Move anything that can heat nearby objects away from your thermostat.
These are a few simple, low-cost ways you can improve the efficiency of your air conditioner and reduce those hefty summer electric bills.