With summer in full swing, we at Grid are embracing the long summer days and pleasant breezy nights. One thing that we are not wholeheartedly embracing are the hours of peak summer heat, mainly that nice chunk of time between 9 and 5. Unless you are one of those people who oddly enjoys sweating profusely during the work day, you might be considering how to maximize your coolness while minimizing energy usage.
Thankfully, Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling wants to help us stay cool, offering seven simple energy-efficient steps for improving AC performance at home and in the workplace. And while these suggestions might not include “spontaneously initiating full-blown office water fights”, the company’s suggestions will definitely help you save you from excessive spending and sweatiness. So, without further ado, I give you the list:
1. How Low Should You Go. Your air conditioner will not cool any faster if you set it at a lower temperature to begin the cooling process. Setting temperature lower than you need and will use substantially more energy.
2. Check That System. As with your furnace, keep your cooling system well-tuned with regular maintenance provided by a licensed HVAC professional service organization. Your service representative will tell you how energy efficient your system is and how it may be improved.
3. Replace Filters. You should clean or replace the filters in your forced-air cooling system each month. While foam filters can be rinsed with water, fiberglass filters should be replaced.
4. Draw the Blinds. Keep the sun out during the day with vertical louvers or awnings on the outside of your windows. Keep your draperies, blinds and shades drawn during the day on the sunny side of your home. Living in the dark saves energy.
5. Don’t Bake It. Consider when you are using your oven and stove. Using the oven during peak heat hours will add unnecessary heat to your office or home. Solutions include baking earlier in the morning, later in the day, and leaving the house to support your local restaurant.
6. Turn on the Fan. Consider using a ceiling fan when your air conditioner is running. The air it moves will accelerate your body’s natural evaporation rate therefore making you feel cooler.
7. Schedule an Audit. Schedule an energy audit to identify where valuable energy is escaping from your home. Leaky windows, doors, and insulation can affect how well your air condition stays put in your home or office.
Andrew Schlesinger is a passionate environmental thinker and designer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org