As you know, we can typically expect a heap of heat and humidity in July and August in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville and Lisle (IL), and so far this year has lived up to its billing. There’s a good chance you’ve heard and felt your AC running regularly.
If you’re one of our many customers who like getting more AC performance with less cost and energy use, you’ve probably picked up some of the maintenance tips we share along the way. That’s especially true in the spring, which is always the best time for a cooling system cleaning and tune-up.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), air conditioners draw 6% of the energy produced in the U.S. Residential systems also account for $11 billion of the $29 billion spent on AC energy costs. Smart maintenance isn’t only for system preparation in spring. You can also keep your AC chugging along with some midsummer thought and attention.
Your AC Halfway Through Summer
Consider your thermostat setting. Some people might maintain a steady 71° to 73° all summer long. DOE suggests the optimal setting for conserving energy and reducing costs in summer is 78° when you’re at home and awake.
When you’re sleeping, a good range is 60° to 67°. If you go out of town for a period, you might set the therm up to 85° unless you have pets that are staying behind in the house, in which case it shouldn’t get warmer than 78°.
One survey indicated that the most-used thermostat setting (26% of respondents) was in the 74° to 76° range. The 71° to 73° range was next (20% of respondents).
While these guidelines can be useful for saving money and energy when you’re at home in Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield, Oswego or Lisle, note they are merely for thought and might not work for everyone. If you are used to 71° at home, 78° might feel like quite a jump, so you might choose to work your way up in increments to determine whether it is sustainable for your comfort, which matters the most.
One other thing to keep in mind is you’ll want to avoid lowering the thermostat too much with the idea that it will cool your home more quickly. To the contrary, doing so won’t achieve lower temperatures faster and will strain your cooling system. Your best bet is to determine your optimal comfort range and set it there consistently.
Use ceiling fans. According to DOE, if you run a ceiling fan in rooms you occupy in summer, you can raise the therm by about 4° without noticing a difference. Even though they don’t cool the air, ceiling fans circulate it, which creates an indoor “wind chill” that helps keep you feeling cooler. Standing fans can be useful for distributing cooled air as well.
Close your shades. When it’s midday and the sun is blazing and high, it’s natural for some of us to want to open the curtains and blinds to let the light pour in. However, while we can appreciate a house lit with sunshine, letting it in also can make our home hotter. To help conserve energy and save money, limit some of that light. For example, blackout curtains can reduce heat in rooms you don’t occupy during the day.
Install a programmable thermostat. If you don’t have a smart thermostat midway through summer, it’s never too late to install one at your home in Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville or Lisle. A smart thermostat can better regulate home temperatures through presets you define for different times of the day and when you are home or away. Many smart units can even become familiar with your preferred temperature patterns and self-adjust to them. If you’d like to learn more about smart thermostats, just ask Beery!
Use a dehumidifier. As we all know, humidity is a big part of summer discomfort. Even when you’re indoors, the air can still feel heavy, sticky and wet. The target range for indoor humidity is typically between 40% and 60%. While your AC can help a bit with air moisture, it might not provide full comfort when the humid heat is extra high. Installing a dehumidifier – even in midsummer – can keep your indoor humidity at desirable levels.
Install a ductless mini-split. Because hot air rises and cold air sinks, rooms on the second floor can often heat up more than those on the main floor and in the basement. Cooling systems that run on one central thermostat for the entire home may not always achieve the comfort needed for both upstairs and downstairs. If you find this to be the case at your house, a great solution is a ductless mini-split unit on the second floor.
Mini-splits are non-invasive, ultra-efficient ways to cool upper rooms more evenly with far less energy than needed for pushing cooled air through the central AC’s ducts. They also remove humidity, help filter impurities from the air and operate quietly.
Here for Answers and Service
At Beery Heating and Cooling, we all hang our hats on the “service” part of “HVAC service.” We’re always ready to answer your questions and spring to action when it concerns keeping you cool, comfortable and safe with proper AC during the high point of summer in Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield, Oswego, or Lisle (IL). If you would ever like to discuss your cooling system or other great ways to achieve a strong push through midsummer, just give us a call at (630) 585-6444!