As the summer season sets in, it is important to know what is a myth and what is the truth about cooling your home in the summertime. Don’t get heated about the money being wasted.
As the summer season sets in, it is important to know what is a myth and what is the truth about cooling your home in the summertime. Don’t get heated about the money being wasted. Take these tips and change how you cool down to save yourself some money.
- “Running my fan will cool down the room.”
Running a fan in a room that is hot will only cool you down, not the room. A fan is not a mini AC unit because it has nowhere to pull the hot air to and dispose of it. Instead, the fan will help sweat evaporate from your skin faster and cool you down but not the room. Turn off the fan when you are not in the room to save energy.
I learned this lesson when I lived in an apartment where the AC unit was located in the living room, and my bedroom was consistently hitting 90 degrees in the summer. With a cat to cool as well as myself, I called my landlord to send out a maintenance worker, who told me my AC unit was working flawlessly. Still sweating endlessly in my room, I went out and bought a fan for my room. Lo and behold, I learned that when I was in front of the fan I was cool, but the second I stepped away from it the room was still hot. Learning my lesson, I decided to go out and buy a portable AC unit since my building does not allow window AC units. Hooking up my portable AC unit with the window kit that came with it, I turned it on and quickly the temperature went down in my room—success!
- “So you’re telling me the only way to stay cool is with an AC unit.”
Actually no, if you are fortunate enough to have ceiling fans or are allowed to put one in. Ceiling fans are another way to cool down a room and you. Remember to have the ceiling fan run counterclockwise in the summer. Also, if you live in an area with high humidity levels, getting a dehumidifier or, even better, getting an AC unit with a dehumidifier component, works to take humidity out of the air, cooling the room.
The portable AC unit I mentioned buying above conveniently also has a dehumidifier component to it. When my room feels “stuffy” and hot, I turn on the dehumidifier to take that “stuffiness” away, bringing down the temperature of the room without using the AC function.
- “If I leave my AC running all day, it is better than restarting it when I get home.”
You will save on energy if you adjust the temperature to about 10 degrees warmer during the day rather than let it run all day cooling an empty house. Then when you return home, lower it to a more comfortable temperature.
When I leave my apartment for work all day, I know that as the day gets hotter, the AC unit will work harder to keep the temperature I selected before leaving. If I leave it at 65 degrees, the AC unit will have to work twice as hard if the temperature rises to 80 degrees outside during the day. However, if I set my AC unit at 78 degrees while I’m gone, then the AC unit doesn’t have to work so hard to keep the room cool.
*Do not set your AC unit above 80 degrees if you have a pet.
- “Turning the AC unit down to 65 will get it to 75 faster than setting it at 75.”
The air conditioner can truly only work so hard and will only put out a set amount of cooling unless it has a variable-speed fan. Turning it all the way down to 65 will just make your house too cold over a period of time, when you forget that you turned the temperature to 65, but it won’t cool the house any faster.
- “If I buy a huge AC unit for my small house, it will cool it faster and better.”
Buying too large of an AC unit for the area creates a lot of noise as it is constantly turning on and off, and it will cool the space unevenly creating hot and cold pockets. Buying too small of an AC unit will force it to continuously run, trying to cool the large space and running your energy bill up the wall in the process. Make sure to know the size of the area you want to cool before buying an AC unit, and it could save you time and money in the long run.