It’s summertime again and the temperature is going up. This is our favorite time of the year to spend time with family and friends. Whether it’s on vacation, at a BBQ or at the pool, this is definitely a fun time of year. Summertime here in Georgia is also when the combination of heat and humidity outside can be dangerous. When we return to our homes from all the activities we enjoy during the Summer months, we want the air to be comfortable. Here are a few tips to help improve air quality, prolong the life of your system, help conserve energy, and reduce utility costs.
- Set the thermostat to approximately 17-20 degrees below the outside temperature. Georgia Power recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees during hot days to conserve energy costs. For every degree below this setting, you can expect an additional 5% increase on the cooling portions of your monthly utility bill.
- Caulk and apply weather stripping where needed. Check all your windows and doors. This will help prevent heat and humidity from entering the home, and keep the indoor relative humidity low. The first thing the air conditioner must do is lower the humidity level in order to properly cool the space.
- Set the fan switch to the “auto” position. Fan in the “on” position during the Summer results in warm, humid air to be circulated throughout the home. Only set the fan to the “on” position in early Spring and mid Fall.
- Close blinds and curtains on hot days.
- Replace standard filters once a month and replace pleated filters every three months. (This may vary depending on pets) Dirty or clogged filters restrict the air flow of the system which results in higher operating costs and may cause damage to the system.
- Do not close off or block more than 20% of the vents in your home. This restricts air flow and could cause the system to freeze up. Do not close off or block ANY return air grills.
- If the system freezes up turn the system off immediately. A system freezing up results in low air flow at registers, water in overflow pan, and/or ice forming on refrigerant lines and/or the air conditioner. Do not leave your system off for any extended period of time. When leaving your home for vacation or work, adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature. Also, by turning the system “off” you are allowing humidity to build up within the home resulting in possible mold growth and longer run time for the air conditioner.
- Don’t ever cover your air conditioner. Maintain 24 inches of clearance around the unit and 6 feet above the unit. This will help maintain the proper air flow into and out of your air conditioner.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate air instead of lowering the temperature on your thermostat. Remember that your air conditioner accounts for nearly 50% of your Summertime utility bill.
Some of these things you have heard before and they still bear repeating. Hopefully there are a few things here that you didn’t know that will help you save money on energy costs and system repairs and replacements. We cannot control what Mother Nature has in store for us, but we can educate ourselves as to how we can save literally hundreds of dollars each month on our energy bills. It is also important to make energy savings a family affair. Remember, it is never too early for kids (often the largest energy users) to develop energy saving habits. These tips will also help you and your families, including your pets, stay safe and cool during these hot and humid Georgia Summer days. To all our customers and friends, please be safe in the heat this summer and drink plenty of water.