Beat the California Heat With These Energy-Saving AC Tips

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How to Get Better Energy Efficiency from Your Air Conditioner

The intensity of California's heat is relentless during the warmest months of the year. Trying to keep your home cool without breaking the bank can be especially challenging. Energy bills are sky-high in some inland areas that have hotter temperatures than coastal locations. While many people immediately turn to efficient appliances as the solution to save on energy, there are some other creative ways you can save. These are some helpful tips to stay cool for less.

1. Maintain Your HVAC Unit

Changing the filter is one of the most important and easiest maintenance tasks. When filters are dirty, they get clogged with debris that prevents proper airflow. This makes the unit work harder to circulate cool air in your home. Filters are inexpensive to buy, and replacing them on time costs less than paying the bill for an overworked unit. Also, when the unit works harder, it may be more likely to fail prematurely.

Be sure to keep the condenser coils and evaporator free of debris and dirt to ensure that they function properly. It's ideal to have the HVAC unit inspected at the start of the cooling season and at the start of the heating season. Technicians can make sure that the unit is functioning optimally for minimal energy use and can identify smaller issues before they become serious problems that turn into expensive repairs.

2. Use Efficient LED Light Bulbs

You've probably seen LED light bulbs in nearly every store. They emit directional light and use very little energy and unlike incandescent bulbs, they emit very little heat. In addition to being more energy efficient, LED bulbs have a longer lifespan. They produce virtually no UV emissions and are more environmentally friendly than incandescent bulbs.

3. Eliminate Excess Energy Consumption

Be sure to turn off any lights when you're not using them. One common mistake that many Californians make is leaving chargers for electronic devices plugged in when they're not in use. Be sure to unplug chargers or turn off the power strips that they're plugged into when you're not charging devices.

On cloudier days or days with lower temperatures, turn off your AC system. Open the doors and use fans. Also, keeping your ceiling fan going and turning the thermostat higher can make the room feel cooler without using as much energy. Check all the doors and windows to make sure that they're properly sealed and don't leak air.

If you want to invest in a smart thermostat, it can help you use less energy. Some smart home systems also connect your lighting fixtures to dim or turn off lights after a certain time. If you frequently forget to turn off lights or forget to turn up the thermostat when you leave and when you go to sleep, a smart thermostat may become your best friend.

4. Find Creative Ways To Prevent Extra Heat

When there's more heat in the home, your system works harder to cool it. Think of energy sources that bring heat into the home. Some people may have more heat sources than others. Find ways to reduce the use of these items. Here are a few examples:

  • Use an outdoor grill instead of the oven during the summer, and eat as many cold foods as possible

  • Wash dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher

  • Hang clothes to dry instead of using the dryer

  • Be sure to run a bathroom exhaust fan whenever you take a hot shower

  • Invest in blackout curtains for the sunniest rooms in your home

There are plenty of other creative ways to stay cool without paying a fortune. If you live in an area where there are extremely high temperatures, you can also look for local cooling centers. Many people turn up their thermostats and visit these cooling centers when it's exceptionally hot or when a home cooling system isn't functioning well. Another way to help you feel cooler is to stay hydrated.

Looking for a Los Angeles-area air conditioning company? Integrity HVAC proudly serves the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas. Call (805) 301-9580 to request an appointment!