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As much as we’d all love to leave our air conditioning on 24/7, it can cause our A/C to quickly deteriorate. Here is how and why you should give your A/C a break.
There are lots of other methods to keep cool without having to run the conditioning all day and night. Even at a low setting, that drives up your bills. You already know that you can stay cooler by wearing lightweight cotton clothing in the house. It also helps to drink plenty of water, and cool yourself down occasionally by using a cool washcloth or compress.
Allow cool air into the house at night by leaving the windows open. When the sun is out, keep your blinds or curtains closed to keep out the radiant heat. Adding more shading around the house, such as awnings, especially around windows with southern or western exposure, can also help to really cut back on heat gained from the sun.
You can program your thermostat for a reason. If you can’t program yours, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. Despite this, there are a lot of people who don’t really understand how to use their programmable settings on their thermostats, so they just leave those settings alone. Knowing how to program the thermostat is a very useful skill. Dig out your thermostat manual, search the model number online, or call a technician who can show you to use the programmable settings properly. You can usually make a few automatic adjustments throughout the day and set a separate schedule for the weekend or throughout the week. For example:
During the day when people are at home, unless you have small children or seniors in the house, keep the thermostat at 77-78 degrees.
Set the AC to raise its temperature by 10 degrees when people are out of the house or are asleep.
Have your settings automatically adjust to the way you like it twenty or thirty minutes before you get home.
You don’t want your oven on during the day when it’s very hot outside. It just adds more heat which means your air conditioning has to work even harder. Instead, try to use the high-heat appliances in your home, like the oven and dishwasher, at night. Instead of cooking in the oven, try to get creative with cold salads, sandwiches, and pan-cooked meals.
A fan can’t cool a room on its own. When you leave the room, turn off the ceiling or standing fans as they will just use up energy. However, your AC could benefit from having a fan on in an occupied room. In fact, you might even be able to turn the AC down by a few degrees.
Fans help the body to evaporate moisture, which is ideal for keeping a bit cooler. At night, open your windows to create a cross breeze that will work with a fan in the bedroom, and see if you can turn off the AC completely.