With high temperatures and excessive humidity, summers aren’t always easy to handle in Fayetteville, North Carolina. As an eco-conscious homeowner, finding a way to balance comfort and energy consumption can be confusing, especially when all you want to do is turn the air conditioner on full blast. After all, HVAC accounts for nearly half of the energy that the average North Carolina household uses throughout the year.
Fortunately, with a few steps, you can save a little or a lot of energy during the cooling season. From scheduling HVAC maintenance to improving indoor air quality, learn how to save energy with the ultimate guide to summertime HVAC efficiency.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
Many air conditioners are designed to be energy-efficient, but without regular maintenance, there’s no telling how much energy your cooling system is wasting. All air conditioners, even new models that show no signs of malfunction, need preventive HVAC maintenance to optimize efficiency.
When you schedule a maintenance session with the Carolina Comfort Air team, we’ll clean your HVAC system, check fluid levels, test electrical connections, and much more to ensure that your air conditioner runs smoothly while using minimal energy. We recommend scheduling an appointment as early in the summer as possible to prevent wasted energy and avoidable breakdowns during the cooling season.
Clear the Air
A professional HVAC tune up can give your household energy savings goals a serious boost. If you’re serious about saving energy, though, don’t forget about HVAC upkeep after our team completes a regular maintenance session. Instead, make a point of replacing your HVAC air filters frequently, every month during the summer and every three months during the rest of the year. Sticking to this schedule will keep pesky indoor pollutants out of the air and out of your HVAC system, where they can accumulate and slow down the system, causing it to run inefficiently.
If your home’s indoor air quality needs an added boost, talk with our team about energy-efficient solutions. Many of our whole-home air purifiers capture airborne particles as small as tobacco smoke and viruses, which means you can breathe easier and your air conditioner can run more efficiently.
Optimize Your Smart Thermostat
You can achieve incredible energy savings with a smart thermostat, so if you’re still using a manual model, consider making the switch right away. Then take the time to program your family’s cooling schedule on the device. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to set the temperature to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when everyone is home and awake, and you’ll want to increase the temperature 8 to 10 degrees overnight or while everyone is out for the day. You could save up to 10 percent on your energy bill just by taking a few minutes to program your cooling schedule.
Next, take the opportunity to optimize your smart thermostat. Add the appropriate app to your smartphone or tablet, so you can check on your home’s HVAC status and adjust the temperature from anywhere in the world. Take the time to read the thermostat’s energy reports, and use that information to make additional tweaks to your thermostat settings for even more energy savings.
Switch on the Ceiling Fans
Fayetteville summers typically get way too hot for ceiling fans alone to be reasonable cooling options. However, using ceiling fans while running the air conditioner can give your cooling system an energy-efficient boost.
To get the most out of the ceiling fans in your home, make sure they’re installed in the center of the room and that they’re rotating in a counterclockwise direction. During the cooling season, they’ll move cool air downward, creating a sort of wind-chill effect. The breeze will make your family feel cooler even though this won’t lower the temperature in the room. When ceiling fans are running at full speed, you can often lower the thermostat by up to 4 degrees without feeling uncomfortable. That can mean valuable energy savings for your air conditioner.
Use Exhaust Fans
Ceiling fans aren’t the only fans that can help your household save energy. Exhaust fans and vents throughout your home can help, too. Every time you take a shower or run hot water in the bathroom, shut the door and turn on the exhaust fan. Doing this will move the hot, humid air outside instead of forcing your air conditioner to work harder while trying to maintain a comfortable temperature.
The same goes for the kitchen and laundry room, too. When you cook, run the dishwasher, or do a load of laundry, always turn on the closest exhaust fan to push humid air outdoors. In the summer, you should also consider scheduling these heat-producing activities in the early morning or late evening, when they’ll have less of an impact on your HVAC system or your household energy usage.
Invest in a Whole-Home Dehumidifier
Fayetteville summers are known for getting hot and sticky, and while exhaust fans can help ease humidity, they can’t do it all. Your air conditioner is designed to moderate humidity throughout your home, but if it can’t keep up with a humid Fayetteville summer, it might need some extra help.
Our team often recommends investing in a whole-home dehumidifier to help tackle indoor humidity issues. This HVAC add-on works with your air conditioner to remove excess moisture from your home’s air supply. It keeps your family comfortable while taking a load off of your air conditioner and offering an energy-efficient boost.
Install an Energy-Recovery Ventilator
While a tight building envelope can certainly help your family save energy, poor airflow, and stale air can be unpleasant side effects, especially on hot summer days. If you’ve noticed pockets of stale air in your home, resist the temptation to throw open the windows to improve airflow.
Instead, talk with our team about an energy-recovery ventilator. This HVAC add-on can increase airflow substantially, so every room in your home will feel the air conditioner’s cool breeze during the summer. Since this device is designed to recover thermal energy, it also pre-conditions fresh air and lowers your air conditioner’s energy consumption.
Consider Zoning Systems
If you’ve noticed inconsistent temperatures throughout your home, your family has probably endured at least a few thermostat battles. Rather than turn down the temperature to cool rooms that always seem too hot, consider zoning systems instead.
When our team installs zoning systems, we establish various zones in your home’s ductwork and connect each one to its own thermostat. That means you can keep the temperature a little lower on your home’s upper level without wasting energy on over-cooling the lower level. This is a great way to meet the whole family’s temperature preferences while keeping energy usage as low as possible.
Upgrade Your Air Conditioner
Once your air conditioner reaches the 10-year-old mark, it’s time to start thinking about a new model. Cooling technology has come a long way over the past few years, and new systems can offer impressive energy savings.
An air conditioner like the Trane XV20i True Comfort Variable Speed boasts an energy-efficient seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating of 22, along with quiet operation and built-in air filtration. It also features the Trane TruComfort system, which adjusts cooling output in minute increments to ensure that your home’s temperature is always within a half degree of your preferred setting.
Update Your Home’s Window Coverings
If you haven’t updated your curtains or blinds in a few years, consider a few energy-efficient options. Remember that since your windows let in sunlight and transfer heat throughout the summer months, they offer great opportunities for reducing the burden on your HVAC system.
For example, installing awnings on west-facing windows can reduce heat gain by up to 77 percent during the summer. Even something as simple as installing reflective blinds and keeping them closed on summer afternoons can reduce heat gain by almost 50 percent.
This summer, there’s no need to waste energy while staying cool. Whether you’re in the market for a new air conditioner or your indoor air quality needs a boost, our team is here to help. Call Carolina Comfort Air for all of your HVAC needs: 919-879-2106.
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