Although Virginia is known for its beautiful weather, the highest recorded temperature in Alexandria is 106˚ Fahrenheit. As summer descends upon the Old Dominion, the heat index increases the workload on your HVAC system. These AC efficiency tips will help you reduce your cooling costs throughout the dog days of summer.
Windows and Drapes
The overnight summer temperatures in this area drop to around 70˚ Fahrenheit. You can open your windows to allow cooler air to enter your home, and circulate the air with ceiling or box fans. The next morning, close your windows to trap the cooler air inside your house. Close the blinds and drapes on the side of your house that faces the sun to prevent heat from entering through the windows. These adjustments can significantly lower your indoor temperatures and reduce the time that you need to run your AC unit.
Food Preparation, Appliances and Electronics
Cook during the cooler times of the day so that your oven does not heat the house. Consider using an outdoor grill or microwave oven if possible. Avoid over-using your clothes dryer. Turn off electrical devices when they are not in use, such as computers, flat panel televisions and other electronics. The less heat that you generate, the less your air conditioner needs to run in order to cool your home.
Lighting, Ceiling and Exhaust Fans
Switch your lights to compact fluorescent bulbs. Install motion detectors and timers on indoor lights so they operate only when necessary. Use ceiling fans to circulate air when your AC unit is running. They make the room feel cooler enabling you to set the thermostat to a higher temperature. When you take a bath or shower, run the exhaust fan to expel as much humidity and heat as possible.
Caulking and Insulation
Seal any cracks around doors, windows and the locations where pipes and wiring enter your home. Replace any worn-out weather stripping on doors and windows. These energy conservation steps will minimize the loss of conditioned air. Ensure that your home has the recommended amount of insulation in the attic and crawl spaces.
Air Conditioning System
Install a programmable thermostat. These devices enable you to maintain the temperature at a higher level when you are away and automatically lower the thermostat to a more comfortable temperature before you return. Remember to change air filters regularly. Clogged filters require your HVAC system to work harder in order to draw air through the filter. Have your system tuned-up annually. A system that has the correct amount of refrigerant and is regularly serviced will operate at optimum efficiency. A unit that runs more efficiently costs less to operate when it is cooling your home.
If you would like more information about summer energy saving tips or need your air conditioning system serviced, contact our office. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff at Brennan’s Heating & AIr Conditioning will be glad to assist you. Together we can customize a plan that will make your Alexandria, VA home more energy efficient and comfortable during the heat of summer.