When you rely on your home's air conditioner to keep your entire family comfortable, it's a good idea to ensure that is runs properly. To this end, it's advantageous to schedule an HVAC contractor to visit your home to clean and service the air conditioner annually. Doing so gives this professional a chance to ensure there are no issues that will affect the unit's proper operation, as well as ensure that it will run efficiently to avoid excessively raising your utility bills. If you're concerned about the price that you pay for running your A/C but don't want to live in a hot and muggy home, here's the good news -- with a few creative strategies, you shouldn't have trouble keeping cool while also cutting back on your air conditioner usage. Here's how.
Carefully Program Your Thermostat
If you haven't taken the time to program your thermostat, you might either leave your air conditioner running all day or try to turn it off before you leave for work but occasionally forget to do so. In either case, you'll be raising your utility bills unnecessarily. There's little value in having your home pleasantly cool when your family isn't in it -- as such, it's ideal to program your thermostat to shut off around the time that you leave for work and turn back on soon before you're scheduled to come home. This simple strategy can give your A/C several hours of rest per day, which will save you money.
Limit Your Use Of Appliances
Running appliances can boost the heat in your home. Your air conditioner will compensate by running more than usual and you'll soon be looking at a hefty utility bill. Although you can't expect to completely avoid the use of appliances, it's often possible to carefully limit their use -- especially when it's hot outside. Barbecuing instead of cooking in the oven is a simple way to keep the temperature inside your home low to avoid high utility bills. When it comes time to do laundry, think about doing it at night when it's cooler and you can open your windows with the A/C turned off.
Ensure There Aren't Drafty Spots
If there are drafts in your home, hot exterior air can begin to cause the temperature to rise, which will make your air conditioner run more than it should. You can reduce the risk of this issue by identifying drafts around doors and windows and fixing them. Check for drafts with a candle or a lighter -- when the flame dances, it's a sign that it's catching a breeze. You can then address the problem with a combination of weatherstripping and caulking. This will keep hot air outside your home and result in less use of your A/C, which will save you money on your bills.
Contact a local air conditioning service for more help.