If you have solar panels in place, then you’ve already taken a huge step toward more efficient air conditioning and more efficient energy use in general. But if you’re like most Sacramento area homeowners, you’re always looking for ways to save even more money, and we don’t blame you!
Energy costs have soared in recent years, bringing more and more of our customers to discover the power of going solar. It’s also led customers to seek out other ways to use their homes more efficiently. Since air conditioning and heating systems use up about half of all of your home’s energy, you may think you need to cease using them to save more money, but this isn’t the case!
In fact, there are some simple steps you can take today to make your solar air conditioning use even more efficient. Read on to learn what they are.
Raise the Temperature on the Thermostat
All right, before you brush this off as counterintuitive advice and ignore it altogether, bear with us for a moment. No, we do not expect you to make your living space warmer than it has to be. But, you may be turning your thermostat settings down lower than you actually need to in order to maintain comfort.
Some homeowners set their thermostats as low as 71°F when actually, most people are perfectly comfortable at around 78°F throughout the day. Additionally, you can save more energy and subsequently save money by raising the temperature when you aren’t home.
What raising the temperature does is make the air conditioner run for a shorter period of time, and therefore use less energy.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans aren’t capable of keeping you cool on their own. They don’t lower the temperature of a room, after all. However, fans can help you feel cooler. This is because it helps sweat to evaporate from our bodies, which is our natural way of keeping cool.
On a mild day, ceiling fans may be just enough to keep you cool and keep your bills lower. But on a warmer day, you can use ceiling fans in combination with your air conditioner to feel cooler, turn the thermostat up, and use less energy.
Be Sure to Change the Air Filter
There’s a common misconception that the air filter that comes standard with your HVAC systems is in place to protect your indoor air quality. While it certainly doesn’t hurt your indoor air quality, this is not the purpose of this particular air filter.
No, this air filter is in place to protect the HVAC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and damage sensitive components.
That said, over time these air filters get clogged up. When they’re too blocked up, they restrict airflow. When airflow is restricted, it causes your air conditioner to run longer, essentially work harder, to do its job and this is inefficient.
You should be changing your air filter every 1–3 months during periods of HVAC system use.