As summer turns the corner in the Decatur, AL area, you may be wondering about how to use your AC unit the most efficiently. After all, using your air conditioner, no matter which type you have, is key to extending your unit’s usable life and keeping your energy bills lower. After all, Decatur has an average electric bill of $137 per month, with higher rates during the hot summer.

Here are some steps you can use to reduce the strain on your AC system, and therefore, your wallet:

  • Change Your Air Filters. Air conditioners use air filters. Central AC will use the same type of filter as your furnace and may share a filter in many cases. Mini split AC systems also have filters which are easy to change. Heat pumps will have their filter located in the return register or air handler cabinet. Changing your filter will make your AC not have to work as hard to move air. Air filters need changing every few months.
  • Insulation, especially to your attic, traps not just heat during the winter but keeps it out during the summer. Insulation will also stop attics from collecting too much heat in the summer, and then leaking it down into your home, making your AC work harder.
  • Always Keep the Thermostat Fan On. For central air systems, always running the fan means your system will circulate air throughout your home all the time, even when the AC isn’t running. This will help prevent cool air from pooling in some areas, and not reaching others well, and may cause your AC to run less.
  • Use Curtains. Curtains can prevent the sun from heating your home as quickly during the summer months, meaning less AC use.
  • Get a Smart Thermostat. Smart thermostats greatly reduce the strain on your AC system by learning when you’re home or not, and turning the AC off while you’re at work, for instance. They also allow you to control them from afar by using WIFI.
  • Have Your AC System Balanced and Tuned Up. An HVAC professional can balance your HVAC system if one side of your home is starved for AC while another is too cool. Your professional can adjust the ducts and dampers to improve air flow through your home. While you’re at it, a tune-up is a good way to make sure your AC unit is in good working order, and that there isn’t any dirt and debris affecting its performance.
  • Check for Leaky Ducts. Leaky ducts are a common problem that makes your AC system work harder (if it is using ducts.) Sometimes you can find leaks yourself, such as in a basement, but a professional can help find leaks in harder to reach places.
  • Use Your Ceiling Fans Correctly. Did you know that the direction your fan turns affects which way the air flows in a room? A counterclockwise spin will pull hot air upward where it belongs, and cool air will rush in to replace it, making your AC work more efficiently. If your fan spins clockwise, don’t despair: your ceiling fan should have a switch on it that will reverse the direction.

Need More Help? If you’re suffering from high energy bills and your AC unit doesn’t work as well as it used to, we’re here to help. Contact us at Southeastern Mechanical Services if you’re in the Decatur, AL area today, and we’ll get your home feeling comfortable again in no time.