Boston, MA (PressExposure) August 21, 2008 -- Boston area residents know that summer isn't over yet but many are singing the mid-summer blues as they face ever-increasing energy costs, including the cost of keeping cool.
John Wood, founder and CEO of Hub Plumbing & Mechanical, offers some cost-effective ways to reduce the load on your air conditioner. Notes Wood, "Some of the steps that you can take now will not only help curb your current electric bill but will also help control your heating costs this winter."
Don't make your air conditioner work harder than it has to - warm air entering through cracks around window and door frames, electrical outlets, and attic doors all keep your air conditioner's compressor running longer, costing you more.
Taking the following steps now will help reduce both air conditioning and heating costs: â¢ Check for air leaks around doors and windows â¢ Use caulk, insulation, or weather stripping to seal air leaks to reduce drafts â¢ Add attic insulation â¢ Insulate duct work
Year round energy savings can be achieved with the use of a programmable thermostats for cooling and heating. An empty house or apartment doesn't need to be kept cool all day. Even many newer window air conditioners have timers that can be set to cool things down in time for your arrival home from work.
Ceiling fans should also be used year round. During warm weather the ceiling fan should be set to turn in a counter-clockwise direction. The breeze created by this airflow creates a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler.
When it's hot outside, don't create more heat inside: â¢ Minimize the use of heat producing appliances during the hottest part of the day, such as a clothes dryer or dish washer â¢ When cooking use an outdoor grill, a microwave, or a toaster oven to avoid heating up the kitchen by turning on a full sized oven â¢ Minimize the use of heat producing light bulbs -replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents that produce less heat â¢ Close shades, blinds, or drapes on windows that in are in full sunlight
Both central air conditioning systems and individual room air conditioners need to be kept in good running condition for maximum efficiency: â¢ Change or clean filters at least once a month â¢ Keep coils clean and dust free â¢ Make sure you have a proper sized unit - a unit that is too big lowers the temperature without running long enough to reduce the humidity to a comfortable level resulting in a cold clammy feeling Consider investing in a central air conditioning system if a number of your individual air conditioning units need replacing. A central air conditioning system is more expensive to purchase up front but it can result in lower energy costs over time.