In the spring, temperatures begin to rise. Unfortunately, spring weather is notoriously unpredictable. You could experience a beautiful weekend temperate enough for outdoor activities followed by a week of freezing temperatures and snow.
In this changeable climate that continually progresses toward the heat of summer, how do you ensure that your air conditioner stays energy efficient? Start with these four seasonal strategies.
- Schedule a Maintenance Visit
Most cooling systems require at least one annual inspection. The early to middle of spring is the perfect time to schedule an air-conditioner maintenance visit. This proactive step ensures that any needed repairs will be handled before summer arrives.
During a routine maintenance appointment, your HVAC contractor may replace the filter, test the unit’s function, and clean away any buildup left during the off-season. Routine maintenance guarantees that your air conditioner starts off the season in its best condition, and this can dramatically improve system performance.
- Use Natural Cooling
Switching between heating and cooling frequently can use more energy than relying on a single system. During the spring, supplement your climate control with natural cooling methods as much as possible.
During warm periods, open the windows and turn off your air conditioning overnight if the evenings and nights are cool. The next day, close the windows in the early morning and keep the windows covered until the early afternoon to keep your home comfortably cool.
During cold bouts, set your heater to the lowest temperature you can live with and supplement the heating system with warm clothing and blankets. These steps keep the climate inside your home somewhat level, and this means that your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to produce the desired temperatures when you turn it on.
- Avoid Excess Electricity Use
The warmer temperatures get, the more you should limit unnecessary sources of heat in your home. Move any appliances or devices, such as lamps, that generate heat away from your air-conditioning registers.
Plan your household schedule to minimize heat production during the warmest part of the afternoon. Confine the following activities to the mornings and evenings to limit heat production:
- Leaving lights on in empty rooms
- Running the dishwasher
- Taking long hot showers or baths
- Using heated beauty tools like curling irons
- Washing and drying clothing
You may also want to limit your use of large electronics like desktop computers and televisions, which can also generate high levels of heat in your home.
Additionally, check the settings on your hot-water heater. Heating water can have a large impact on the overall temperature in your home. You may want to turn down the temperature settings in the middle to late spring to optimize the cooling process. Be sure to check your owner’s manual and stay within recommended setting ranges so you don’t have to go without hot water.
- Employ Fans in Your Home
Fans can help circulate cool air throughout your home and reduce humidity levels. When the temperatures rise, switch on your fans before using your cooling system. Even if you end up needing to turn on the air conditioner, fans can help lower the indoor temperature enough that your air conditioner’s job is partially done.
In addition to ceiling fans, you can use stand-up or box fans to supplement the natural cooling coming from your open windows. You should also turn on a fan in your bathroom when bathing or performing beauty routines that produce high levels of heat or humidity such as straightening your hair.
Use these steps to ensure that your cooling system stays effective and energy efficient as the seasons change for the warmer.