Don't Put Your A/C on Full Throttle -- Keep Cool and Save EnergySummer is here, and if you need to run your A/C on full throttle to keep your home comfortable, now is the time to find out why. Inefficiencies in your home make your A/C work harder than it should, which takes money out of your pocket every month. 

So, before the next big electric bill arrives, here’s what to check for when your A/C is on full throttle:

  • Ensure the conditioned air stays inside.
    • If you feel a draft from a window or door during the winter, the same leak is now letting the cool air out. If the weatherstripping on your windows and doors is old, replace it. You can find affordable adhesive backed weatherstripping at the home improvement store and expanding foam to fill in cracks.
    • If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed.
    • Inspect your ductwork for damage and air leaks. If your ducts weren’t correctly installed, air will escape from the joints into your attic or other areas where it’s not needed. After any repairs are made, insulate as much of the ductwork as you can.
  • Change your habits.
    • Keep heat generating activities like washing clothes, running the dishwasher and cooking on the stove to the cooler morning and evening hours. When you add heat to your home, your A/C has to compensate by working harder.
    • Raise your thermostat when you’re away or sleeping. Consider a programmable thermostat to make it even easier.  Don’t turn it completely off, just raise it 8-10 degrees. You don’t need your A/C on full throttle when you’re not there.
    • Use ceiling and individual fans to spread the conditioned air around. You’ll be able to raise the thermostat but still stay comfortable.
  • Keep the sun out.
    • Creative use of landscaping can shade your home from the hot sun. Plant deciduous trees on the west and south sides of your home.
    • Awnings will also block the summer sun.
    • Finally, keep your curtains or blinds closed during the day to control solar heat gain.

For other ways to save money, or more professional insight, contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about A/Cs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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