The long days, blazing sun, and high temperatures of summer have returned to Fort Worth, and for many people, that means their AC unit is working hard. Air conditioning can be a lifesaver in this season – literally – but it can also be costly in terms of energy and utility bills. At Arthur Hagar, our dedication to upholding our place as Fort Worth’s Top Rated Local® HVAC specialists includes helping you to optimize the efficiency of your air conditioner and find ways to stay comfortable throughout the summer without the high costs.
In today’s blog post, we have a summer checklist to help you keep costs and temperatures low. Follow these steps for a more relaxing season, and don’t forget to call Arthur Hagar for all your air conditioning service needs! Whether it’s time for a brand new AC unit or your existing system needs a little TLC, our team of experts is here to help. We want you to stay safe this summer!
Reprogram Your Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, then you likely know the savings that can come with the ability to automatically adjust the output of your HVAC system. However, those savings depend on how you set your thermostat!
In the winter, you likely programmed your thermostat to allow the house to naturally cool while you were away, saving the effort of your furnace or heat pump for when you come home. The settings should be the opposite for the summer! If you forget to change the programming, it can end up raising your utility bills instead of lowering them, so this should be a high priority on your summer savings checklist.
In the summer, you should program your HVAC settings for a higher temperature while you’re away so your AC unit isn’t trying to keep you cool when you’re at work or running errands. When you are at home, the Energy Department recommends a setting around 78 degrees for a healthy and budget-friendly home environment. This is the temperature you should choose for your “wake time” and “return time.” For more information, check out our blog post on how to make the most of your programmable thermostat!
Cover Your Windows
Your next cost- and energy-saving trick is covering your windows to prevent natural heat gain from sunlight. In winter, we recommend leaving your curtains open to allow the sun to naturally heat your home. We want to avoid that in the summer, so invest in shades or other window treatments and make sure they’re in place before you leave your home. For an extra energy-efficient boost, look specifically for insulating window treatments.
Turn on the Fan
Fans create the “wind chill” effect, where the movement of air helps your body cool off faster. If you employ a few fans throughout your home in the summer, you can set your thermostat for a few degrees higher than you would normally, sparing your AC unit the extra effort.
There are a few tricks to making sure you are using fans efficiently. For one, make sure ceiling fans are rotating counter-clockwise to encourage the circulation of cool air. You should also keep in mind that fans help you stay cool, but they don’t affect the overall temperature of the room, so turn them off when you move to another part of the house. For more guidance on how to use fans efficiently, you can find guidance from the Department of Energy.
Turn off Heat-Producing Appliances
All kinds of electronics give off a small amount of heat when in operation — some appliances, like your oven, give off more than others. Reducing how much you use these appliances can help reduce stress on your HVAC system. You don’t want to add more heat to a room you’re trying to cool, after all.
Appliances you should try to use more mindfully include the oven, dishwasher, clothes dryer, and artificial lights, especially inefficient incandescent light bulbs. Grill up some tasty treats outside instead of baking, and take advantage of the long days of natural sunlight. If you can’t air dry your clothes or dishes, try to only use your dryer or dishwasher when it is fully loaded to minimize the energy draw.
Schedule a Maintenance Check-Up
Last but not least, make sure your air conditioning is in tip-top shape with a maintenance tune-up from Arthur Hagar. Now that we’re in the heat of things, problems with your air conditioning can turn dangerous, with the possibility of serious health concerns like dehydration or heat stroke. The Arthur Hagar team is here for your emergency AC repair needs, but we can also help you prevent that kind of panic with a maintenance check-up.
Regular HVAC maintenance includes an inspection and cleaning of your system, which gives your technician an opportunity to find and address issues like cracked parts or loose belts to ensure they don’t lead to an overall system failure. Cleaning your ductwork and changing your air filters can also contribute to a more efficient AC unit and a more comfortable home without the uncomfortably high bills.
Invest in the health and safety of your home and family today — contact Arthur Hagar to schedule an air conditioner maintenance appointment! We’ll work quickly, effectively, and safely to ensure your HVAC system is in peak shape, utilizing high-quality parts and the talents of our experienced technicians. Stay cool this summer, and trust Fort Worth’s Top Rated Local® HVAC specialists. Call or use our easy online form today to get started!