Getting The Most Out Of Your Air Conditioner

An air conditioned home is something that people often take for granted. After all, cool, comfortable temperatures usually require nothing more than a simple adjustment of your thermostat. What too many people don't realize, however, is that your air conditioning unit has to do a great deal of work in order to make your home comfortable--and homeowners often make this job even more difficult with improper use.

Fortunately, changing these bad habits and optimizing your air conditioner's output is a relatively simple process. If you focus on a few simple changes, you'll find that your utility bills will drop and your air conditioner will last a lot longer.

Change #1--Close Your Blinds or Curtains

It's easy to underestimate the impact of sunlight on the interior temperature of your home. After all, when the sun isn't shining directly on your skin, it's almost impossible to notice. That said, natural sunlight carries a tremendous amount of heat into your home on a daily basis.

For people who are serious about blocking this heat from their home, window film can reduce this heat by 50 to 70 percent. A much simpler solution is to just close your blinds or curtains. The sunlight--and the resulting heat--won't have as much of an impact on your home's temperature. Your air conditioner will have an easier time cooling your home to the desired temperature as a result.

Change #2--Switch Your Open Vents Around

Neglect is a common theme when dealing with your air conditioner, and your home's vents are no exception. Too often, people only change their open and closed vents when a particular room feels uncomfortable. By then, it's already too late.

Instead, think about the simple physics of warm and cool air. Hot air tends to rise--making your upstairs rooms much warmer than the lower ones. If you close your lower vents and open the top ones instead, the cool air will start out where it can do the most good before sinking to the lower levels of your home.

Change #3--Replace Your Air Filter Regularly

The air filter in your ducts is designed to do one specific job--collect the dust and other particles in your home's air. These filters do a fantastic job of this, at least when they are clean and new. As dust builds up on the filter, air flows less freely through the filter.

Reduced air flow makes it difficult for your air conditioner to force air through the filter. This results in less cool air coming through the duct and longer periods of effort required from your air conditioning unit. Regular replacement of your filter prevents this from happening, ensuring that your airflow is maximized at all times.

Change #4--Keep The Air Conditioner Clear

Your air conditioning unit is typically located outside of your home. Many times, homeowners treat this large machine as an eyesore. Landscaping and other natural barriers are used to hide the air conditioner from view as a result. While this approach can certainly add to the natural beauty of your home's exterior, it can cause problems for your air conditioner.

Grass clippings, weeds, and other natural obstructions can find their way into your air conditioner's fan motor. This will cause the motor to labor and eventually burn out. To avoid this, keep the area around your air conditioner free of shrubs, flowers, or other landscaping elements. Consider using mulch or gravel to keep two or three feet clear around the unit.

None of these changes to your lifestyle are all that significant. However, the savings on your utility bill and added lifespan of your air conditioner that results is substantial. Keep these changes in mind and enjoy a cheaper, more efficient process to cool your home. Click here for additional info on air conditioner maintenance. 

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