Even though the rest of the country might think of Minnesota as the land of eternal winter, residents from Farmington to Victoria know that we also get some pretty hot weather in the summer. So a functional air conditioner is essential. But with all the money sent on heating in the winter, residents are always looking for ways to economize in the summer and cut their cooling bills. So we have a few tips that will help keep your home comfortable in the summer without adding too much strain on your budget.
Cooling And Dehumidifying
The central air system in your home works to cool the air as well as lower the humidity. However, when it is exceptionally humid outside, the unit can run almost constantly, trying to drop the humidity in your house. In addition, you might be mistaking the higher humidity for a higher temperature and setting the thermostat lower. That also contributes to the workload of the AC and your larger electric bills. A more economical choice is to set your air conditioner fan to auto rather than having the fan run constantly. Then use fans to circulate the cooler air. This will take some stress off the AC and reduce the electrical consumption a bit.
The Value Of Proper AC Installation
A new air conditioner could operate up to 50% more energy efficiently than an older model from the 70s or 80s. However, it is vital that the new unit be installed properly by a licensed professional to ensure that you get as much benefit as possible from your investment. Some of the critical installation points to discuss and monitor when you are having a new AC installed include:
- Proper sizing of the duct system such as that specified in Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual D
- An appropriate number of supply and return registers to cool the house and return the warm air to the AC unit for cooling
- Ensure that the ducts are installed in the cool parts of the home rather than the hotter areas like outside walls and in the attic
- Ensure that all ducts are sealed with mastic and insulated to reduce the loss of cooled air
- Locate the condenser in a place with no air obstructions of any kind blocking the circulation of air around all sides of the unit
- Verify that the refrigerant change and the airflow around the unit meet the manufacturers specifications for a proper and fully warrantied installation
- Locate the thermostat away from artificial heat sources like windows, registers, or near the kitchen
In addition to those critical installation must-haves, there are a few features to look for when shopping for your new AC unit. Be sure to include:
- A variable speed AC for added energy efficiency
- A check filter reminder light or indicator to remind you to replace the AC air filters
- An automatic delay fan switch that will shut off the fan a few minutes after the compressor shuts off
Call 952-208-4570 to learn more about using your AC more efficiently from the licensed professionals at Blue Ox Heating And Air.