As the weather in Charlotte heats up, air conditioner usage skyrockets. In North Carolina, those warm days start earlier and last longer, meaning many busy months for A/C units. With HVAC usage accounting for 16% of all residential energy consumption, this doesn’t just hit homeowners in the wallet – it’s also costly for the environment.
A few small changes around the house can add up to a big difference on your environmental impact. Follow these environmentally friendly home cooling tips from MTB Mechanical’s expert technicians. You’ll be doing your part for the planet, plus reducing your energy bill and increasing the efficiency of your system.
1. Change your air filters more often.
Changing your air filters frequently is one of the easiest ways to make a dent in your energy usage. The harder your HVAC system has to work to push air through a dirty filter, the more energy it spins through. Need a nudge when it’s time for a filter change? Sign up for our email reminders.
2. Use a programmable thermostat.
Adding a smart thermostat to your existing HVAC system allows you to take control of your heating and cooling all from your phone. Smart thermostats can adjust themselves, sensing when the home is empty and even regulate indoor humidity levels. Not only are these devices convenient, but they can also “teach” your A/C system how to most efficiently cool your home over time.
3. Schedule an HVAC tune-up.
Having regular maintenance on your HVAC system is a great way to keep your energy consumption down by catching energy drains as they occur. Clogged ducts and leaky condensers can cut down on your home’s efficiency. MTB recommends two technician visits per year, one of the many advantages our Priority Comfort Agreement customers enjoy.
4. Install ceiling fans.
Especially in high-traffic rooms, ceiling fans help moderate temperature year-round. Here in Charlotte, fans can be particularly useful during seasons when it’s hard to tell if you need the heat, the A/C or neither.
5. Improve your insulation.
You may think of insulation during the winter when cool air sneaks through the cracks in your home, but it’s just as important in the summer. Insulation keeps hot air out and your comfortable, cool air in. Leaky windows and doors are prime entryways for hot air. Seal these openings with caulk or weatherstripping.
6. Strategically close your vents.
If your home is multi-story, strategically closing vents can amplify the air conditioning where you need it most. For example, if your basement has vents and stays cool on its own, closing those vents will force the air upstairs to the main level of your home.
7. Run appliances at night.
Appliances like your dishwasher and washer and dryer create heat and raise the indoor temperature. As the weather warms up, avoid using these appliances in the heat of the day.
8. Close your drapes to the sun.
The more sunlight that hits your house, the harder your A/C unit must work to keep it cool. Closing the drapes and blinds in sun-facing rooms during daylight hours helps keep the indoor temperature down. Planting trees or bushes that provide more shade for your home is a good way to reduce HVAC energy consumption, too.
9. Open the windows when it’s cool.
If it cools down at night, open your windows and turn off your air conditioning to conserve energy. This will keep your home cool and ventilated while you sleep.
10. Be sure your air conditioner is optimal for your home.
An older, outdated air conditioner or a system that is not sized properly for your home can cause unnecessary energy usage. Renovations and expansions to your house can mean your old air conditioner is too small to efficiently cool your new square footage, causing your unit to cycle on and off too often, or run more hours a day than necessary. If your air conditioner is ending its lifespan, you may consider the benefits of a high-efficiency unit that reduces electricity bills and helps avoid energy waste.
Whether you need maintenance for your current system or it’s time to consider replacement, MTB’s comfort specialists can optimize a plan for your space. There’s a science to cooling your home, and the MTB family has been using their expertise in the Carolinas for generations. Request an appointment online today or call 704.321.9250.
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