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Go with the Airflow: How to get the most out of your air conditioner with efficient airflow

Improving the efficiency of your air conditioning is a great way to save yourself money on utility costs, maintain the health of your air conditioning unit for longer, and keep you cooler. With warmer weather just around the corner, now is the time to make sure your air conditioner is fully operational and giving you the best airflow efficiency.

 

Read on to learn about the importance of airflow efficiency, and our tips on how to maximize the function of your air conditioner in time for summer.

 

We’ve assembled some of the best ways to optimize airflow and get the most out of your air conditioner. From general maintenance tips to optimizing the area surrounding your AC unit, we’ve got all the information you need to ensure you stay cool and comfortable.

 

What Problems Are Caused By Inefficient Airflow?

 

 

1 – High Energy Costs

One of the main issues that stems from an inefficient air conditioner is that it can really ramp up your energy bills. Around ¾ of US homes have air conditioning installed, and the electricity required to run it makes up a large chunk of your energy bill. If your house and AC unit are not optimized for efficient airflow, you’ll likely be using more energy than you need.

 

2 – Your Air Conditioner Could Break Completely

If your air conditioner is not maintained to keep it healthy and efficient, you run the risk of the unit breaking completely. The filters, coils and fins all require regular cleaning and maintenance in order to keep them working efficiently. If you neglect to keep your air conditioner in good condition, it will have a much shorter lifespan.

 

3 – Dangers of Leaking Coolant

Inefficient air conditioners are much more likely to break, and this can cause the coolant, or refrigerant, to leak out of the unit. If a coolant is leaked, especially in hot weather, it can evaporate and form freon. Freon is an odorless, tasteless gas that can cause serious damage to your internal organs and cells if inhaled. Reduce the risk of leaked coolant by getting your air conditioner regularly maintained by a professional.

 

4 – Increased Risk of Dehydration

Aside from the financial cost of replacing or repairing an inefficient air conditioner, the risk of having no air conditioning in your home during the hottest months of the year pose a serious threat to your physical health. Dehydration occurs quickly when temperatures soar, causing dizziness, blurred vision, and in extreme cases loss of consciousness.

 

5 – Heat Exhaustion & Heatstroke

Other heat-related health issues include heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heat exhaustion can lead to dizziness and loss of consciousness. Heatstroke is a serious medical issue and should be treated by medical professionals. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, fever and chills. You are more at risk of developing a heat-related health problem in hot weather if your air conditioner isn’t working efficiently.

 

How to Improve the Airflow of Your Air Conditioner

 

In order to keep your house fresh and cool and your air conditioning unit working to its best capacity, you need to increase airflow efficiency. Here are our top tips for maximizing airflow and keeping you air conditioner healthy and functional.

 

1 – Clean Your Unit’s Filters Thoroughly

Ideally you should clean your air conditioner’s air filter once per month, especially when it is in high use during the warmer seasons. There are a few different ways to clean your filter. You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any debris that has collected there. You can also wash your filter with warm water, or use a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust. You can get rid of any odor from your filter by scrubbing it with baking soda. Avoid using soap products or washing your filter with dishes as this can leave an unwanted residue on the filter.

 

2 – Clean the Drain Line

The drain line is the part of your air conditioner that drains the condensed liquids. An air conditioner is designed to collect water in the air and remove it through the drain line: this reduces humidity, cooling your home in the process. Over time, mildew, mold and other residues can build up in the drain line, causing your air conditioner to become less efficient. You can easily clean out your drain line by pouring a cup of bleach into the pipe. This will unclog anything that has accumulated there and keep your AC in top working order.

 

3 – Clear Out Vents in Your Home

As well as regularly maintaining your air conditioner, you need to make sure your home is optimized for efficient air flow. This means you need to keep your vents clean and clear of debris and any blockages. Indoor vents help keep the flow of air to your air conditioner steady which means it can work to its full capacity. Vacuum indoor vents to remove dust and other build-ups, and make sure your vents aren’t obstructed by furniture or blinds.

 

4 – Close All Windows and Doors

Your air conditioner won’t work properly if it’s trying to process all the air in the outside world as well as the air inside your home! When your AC unit is in use, make sure to keep all windows and doors closed so your home is kept cool and reduce the amount of hot air that can get in from outside.

 

5 – Keep Heat-Producing Appliances Away from Your Thermostat

Your thermostat is used to tell your air conditioner what the temperature of the air is, and controls how hard the AC unit has to work in order to keep your home cool. If your thermostat registers heat from a heat-producing appliance, it will communicate to the air conditioner that the air is hotter than it actually is, and the air conditioner will have to work harder, thinking your home needs to be cooled more. Avoid this by keeping all lamps, stoves, boilers, and other heat-producing kitchen appliances away from your thermostat.

 

6 – Ensure Ductwork is Properly Sealed

The ductwork of an air conditioner is what transports the air from room to room, removing warm air and delivering cool air in its place. If your ductwork is not properly sealed, there can be leaks of air into spaces that you don’t need conditioned, such as loft or basement spaces. Use special duct-sealing tape to mend any visible gaps in your ductwork. Alternatively, hire professional help with ensuring all your ductwork is properly sealed and functional around your home.

 

7 – Avoid Using Large Heat-Producing Appliances in the Daytime

 

 

During the warm seasons, the middle of day is the hottest time and is likely when your air conditioner will have to work the hardest. Using large heat-producing appliances at this time of day, such as an oven, heater, or dryer will cause extra hot air to be drawn into your home. Avoid using these appliances in the middle of the day to help optimize airflow and keep your home fresh and cool.

 

 

 

So, there you have all the information you need to get the most out of your air conditioner. Maximizing airflow is achieved through regular maintenance of your AC unit, as well as by optimizing your home to keep air as cool as possible. We recommend seeking professional assistance in the installation of upkeep of your air conditioner, as this will ensure it is working efficiently and not eating into your energy bill.

 

Stay cool and go with the airflow!

Reduce Summer Energy Costs with These Hacks

All of you who love to open your energy bill and see a ridiculous increase in your monthly costs, please raise your hand. We didn’t think so. Every summer, millions of Americans experience just that, muttering profanities under their breath, staring in disbelief, trying to decipher kilowatt hours and their summer energy costs. Following those profanities, they consider implementing a household ban: no soul shall touch the air conditioner or the fan, we will roast alive instead.

Such drastic measures aren’t necessary: there are quite a few ways to reduce summer energy costs and save your wallet from the perils of ballooning energy bills. Whether you want to reduce your energy consumption in general, or you simply want to lend Mother Earth a helping hand, Stadtler is here to help.

 

Windows

For many climates, running your air conditioning throughout the evening just isn’t necessary: the cool nighttime air and lack of sun can do wonders for naturally cooling your home. Turn off your AC and open your windows at night, and, in the morning, shut your windows and drapes to trap the cool air already circulating within.

 

Furthermore, you can install window treatments or awnings to shade your windows, a strategy that will not only provide a little decorating pop but add some tremendous shading power. Some awnings have been proven to reduce solar heat by an astonishing 65-75%! Compared to older models, today’s awnings are much more efficient and last substantially longer. Opt for units that are water repellent, mold resistant, and light-colored—lighter colors are better at reflecting sunlight than their darker counterparts. Ensure that your selection has proper ventilation in the form of eyelets or grommets so that air can flow through. As well, look for models that roll up or retract in the winter so you can capture sunlight to warm your home when you need it.

 

Leakage

Window leaks are more common than you would imagine, especially if you have older windows. Search for leaks and seal them ( conversely, this will be of great importance as you seek to heat your home come winter). Make sure to purchase a door stopper to line the bottom of any doors may that leak air.

 

Drapes

summer, energy, costs, curtain

Closing blinds and drapes is an excellent technique for avoiding the direct sunlight that turns homes into broilers. If you can stand a little summer darkness, awesome: draw your blinds and drapes. If you must bask in daylight, try drawing the blinds and closing curtains in rooms that are not being used. This action alone is perfect for countering the sun’s greenhouse effect.

 

Air Conditioning

While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s recommended that you set your AC to 78 degrees during the summer months (if you can stand it, set it a bit higher). The goal is to create the least amount of difference between the soaring outside temperatures and your home’s interior, the result being lower energy bills from an AC unit that isn’t working overtime to cool your home. This little technique alone can amount to hundreds of dollars saved per year. When you’re more interested in maximizing savings as opposed to turning your home into a meat locker, this strategy will give you the most bang for your energy saving buck.

 

But how often do you clean your air conditioner? Are you growing a two-inch thick layer of dust over your filter, forcing your unit to work harder as a result? Be sure to clean your unit’s filter at least once a month to keep it running at optimum levels.

 

When using window AC units, check for leakage around the window units and plug accordingly, as you don’t want your precious cool air escaping outside.

 

And of course, there’s no reason to cool rooms that aren’t being used, which include empty guest rooms and vacant bedrooms. Close vents, close doors, let your unused rooms cook.

 

Water Heaters

During the summer months, you’re far more likely to enjoy a cool shower, especially after spending a day in the blistering summer heat. Consider turning down the heat on your water heater during the summer months to a range of 115 to 120 degrees, another significant contribution to reducing your summer energy bills.

 

Put Your Ceiling Fan To Work

energy, heating, summer

Is it always necessary to run your air conditioner? Probably not. Instead, your ceiling fan can put in some serious work when it comes to keeping your home cool, especially when paired with cooler evening air. One of the most important things that people forget during the summer months is the following: switch your fans so they rotate in a counter-clockwise movement, which forces cool air downward. The counterclockwise direction is optimal for the summer months, while the opposite is optimal for cooler seasons. As well, there’s no need to have your fan running with no one benefitting from it. If you’re the last person out of the room, be sure to turn the fan off.

 

Cooking

If you’re baking casseroles and cupcakes in the summer, your house is going to feel like the Mojave. Cooking warms your home significantly in the summer. But one must eat, of course. Instead of running the oven or stove, grill outside, a delicious alternative where you can cook a substantial amount food at one time (great for freezing and eating throughout the week) without turning the whole house into a sauna.

 

Unplug and Save

If you want to save a little extra on your summer energy bills, unplug appliances and electronics that aren’t being used on a regular basis. These sleeping electronics contribute significantly to your energy costs over the summer through a process called “phantom load”—engery usage during non-use. If you’re using surge protectors, flick off the power to several unused items with the press of a button.

 

Appliances & Technology

Most modern technology is Energy Star certified, but you may have some pieces in your home that are not. Consider upgrading the usual suspects—refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.— to ensure that they adhere to the EPA’s energy efficiency guidelines. This action is not only great for keeping your costs down, but also for the environment.

 

Secondly, manually managing your thermostat on a daily basis is completely old school. If possible, upgrade to a programmable unit that will take the repetition and guesswork from the equation and help you put your energy saving techniques on autopilot.

 

And don’t forget the light bulbs! If you haven’t already, replace your current fleet of light bulbs with Energy Star rated models. Also, fluorescent lights are known to generate less heat than other model bulbs.

 

Together, these energy and cost-reducing tactics will help reduce your summer energy costs and save you from the weak knees and dizziness resulting from opening a massive power bill. When you’ve leveraged all of these summer energy hacks and it comes time to do some serious cooling work, be sure to remember your friends at Stadler Heating and Cooling. We’ve been serving the Illinois community’s heating, cooling, and air quality needs for decades and would love the opportunity to help you tackle the summer heat.

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