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Tips for Helping Your Central Air Save Energy

The Fuel Company offers expert A/C service to maximize efficiency

central air Barnstable, MA For most homes, the central air conditioning system is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a modern luxury that keeps our living spaces comfortable through brutal summers. On the other, it’s a significant contributor to high energy bills.

What if we told you that you could enjoy both comfort and cost savings? By taking a few smart steps with help from The Fuel Company, you can ensure that your central air conditioning system effectively cools your home without burning through your wallet.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through practical strategies to make your central air system more energy efficient. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to save money or an environmental enthusiast striving to reduce your carbon footprint, these tips are essential for optimizing your central air’s performance.

Regular maintenance keeps efficiency high

One of the easiest ways to guarantee efficient operation is through regular maintenance. Think of your central air system as a car; without regular oil changes and tune-ups, it wouldn’t run as smoothly or last as long. The same principle applies to your HVAC system.

Over time, dust, debris, and wear and tear can clog up your system, reducing airflow and forcing your AC to work harder. This not only wastes energy but can also lead to more frequent breakdowns and a shorter system lifespan.

While some maintenance tasks, including the annual tune-up, should be left to the professionals, there are things you can do to keep your system running well:
Change your air filters: Clogged filters restrict airflow, making your system less efficient. Check them monthly and change them when they’re dirty.
Keep the area around your outdoor unit clear: Debris can obstruct airflow, making your central air system less effective.

Clean the evaporator and condenser coils: Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to transfer heat, which decreases efficiency.

Check your thermostat batteries: A simple battery change can prevent thermostat malfunctions that result in unnecessary energy use.

By staying on top of these tasks, you can ensure your system runs as efficiently as possible between professional tune-ups.

Upgrade to a smart or programmable thermostat

Gone are the days when you had to manually adjust the thermostat several times a day to save energy. Today’s programmable thermostats give you precise control over your home’s temperature, and they do all the work for you.

By setting your thermostat to increase the temperature when you’re away at work or asleep, you can save up to 10% on your cooling costs every year. This temperature setback reduces the workload on your system during times when cooling isn’t as critical, which means it uses less energy.

A good rule of thumb is to set your thermostat to 78°F when you’re at home and in need of cooling. For the hours when you’re away, set the temperature 7-10 degrees higher. Also, avoid setting the temperature much lower when you’re trying to cool your home quickly—it won’t work faster, it will simply work longer, consuming more energy.

Be mindful of zoning your system if your home allows for it. This way, each area can have its own temperature schedule, further increasing energy savings.

Proper insulation and sealing keeps cool air inside your home

Air leaks in your home can account for up to 30% of energy loss. That’s 30% of the cool air produced by your central air system literally blowing through the cracks.

Insulation is your first line of defense against outdoor temperatures. In the summer, it keeps the heat out and the cool air in. Proper insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, reducing the workload on your central air system.

Check for drafty areas around windows and doors. Apply weather stripping or caulking to seal gaps.

Inspect your attic for adequate insulation. If it’s below the ceiling joists, it’s time to add more.

Have your ductwork professionally sealed and insulated. Leaky ducts can result in a significant loss of cooled air before it reaches your home’s interior.
These simple steps can dramatically improve the efficiency of your central air system by keeping the cool air where it belongs—inside your home.

Use other methods to bolster cooling

While your central air system does the heavy lifting, there are several other cooling methods you can employ to ease its workload and save energy.
Ceiling fans or portable fans can help circulate cool air, making your home feel more comfortable without drastically lowering the thermostat. Just remember to turn them off when you leave the room to save energy.

Cross-ventilation is a simple yet effective way to cool your home without turning on the AC. Open windows on opposite sides of your home to allow a breeze to flow through, carrying away built-up heat.

Keep your curtains or blinds closed during the hottest parts of the day to block out the sun’s heat. Consider installing light-reflecting blinds or shades for even more efficiency.

During cooler parts of the day, open windows to allow fresh air in. This can often be enough to maintain a comfortable temperature without using the central air system.

By incorporating these natural cooling methods, you can lighten the load on your central air and save energy in the process.

Now is a great time to schedule your central air conditioning tune-up with The Fuel Company! Contact us today to make the appointment.

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The Fuel Company has been Cape Cod’s choice for dependable residential and commercial heating oil delivery for more than half a century, and we remain dedicated to providing outstanding service you can count on.

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