If you’re a homeowner with a central air system, you know the cost of cooling a house all summer long.
The good news? with a bit of elbow grease, you can make your syste run more efficiently—and save money. Just follow these tips from Noah Laird, operations manager of Laird and Son, a Toronto-based heathing and air conditioning company.
Draw the shades
Keep your blinds and curtains closed, particularly in south-facing rooms, Laird says. That can help lower the room temperature.
Check your air filters
The filter on your furnace blower, which circulates the cold air, will get dirty and make your system work harder—especially if you have pets. If you’re using your AC daily, check the filter every month or two. If it’s covered in debris, you should replace it.
Clean your coils
Over time, the condenser coils on your outdoor unit can become caked with dirt, forcing your system to work harder and consume more power. To clean them, Laird says to use a pistol nozzle on your hose and spray the coils at a 45-degree angle. The coils in an outdoor AC unit are usually wrapped around the inner components, essentially acting as exterior side walls. In some cases, you may need to have the outer casing and top removed to gain access.
Seal it up
In older houses, precious cold air can escape through the walls. Make sure any cracks in the walls and foundation are sealed and reviewed by a professional and that your home is well insulated, including in overlooked spaces, like the attic and garage.
Keep the fan going
Even when your AC is off, you can still chill your house by running the system fan. That will draw cold air from the basement and provide a couple of extra degrees of cooling.