Improve Your Portland Home’s Air Conditioner Efficiency
When it comes to being environmentally friendly, Portland is one of the top 10 greenest cities in the U.S. Portland residents are known for choosing options that are eco-conscious — from recycling and bicycling to taking measures to reduce electricity consumption. So, it’s no surprise that energy efficiency is just as important to them.
When it comes to beating the summer heat, electrical usage by inefficient air conditioners can skyrocket – as can the electric bills. How can you stay cool and comfortable without increasing your energy usage? An efficient air conditioner will not only lower your energy bills, it will reduce your carbon footprint, so you can continue along the path of making financially sound and environmentally responsible choices.
So, where should you start?
Consider your AC Unit Thermostat
We advise taking a closer look at your thermostat. Altering the settings on your thermostat can dramatically affect its energy usage. There are multiple factors that specifically affect the accuracy of a thermostat.
- Consider the light. Light means heat, and the more light in a space means the harder the air conditioner will need to work. Sunlight shining through the windows is pleasant, but can quickly warm a room. Even lamps and lighting in your home can increase temperatures. Light can be especially impactful if it shines directly on the thermostat, causing it to read at a higher temperature than the rest of the room. This can lead to the AC running longer, and make the room colder than what is comfortable.
- Electronics and appliances also produce heat, even if they don’t produce light. Similarly to a thermostat being in direct light, if the device is near something with an electrical current, the AC unit may crank into overdrive. Small rooms containing many electronics and are used consistently (consider your home office) can quickly warm up a room and prompt people to turn up the AC.
- A household with a lot of individuals can lead to increased energy bills based on personal preferences. People can have varying levels of comfort in different temperatures. A common household debate is who has control of the thermostat. If people are frequently changing the temperature, the fluctuation makes the AC unit work harder, which increases energy costs, and decreases the AC unit’s performance and lifespan.
- Cooling an entire home means you’ll want to let air circulate. Close windows to keep hot air out, and cold air in. If you plan to spend a majority of time in one part of the home, close the doors to keep the cold air where you want it, and your AC won’t have to continue kicking in to cool unused space. By concentrating the cold air, you save on energy bills.
Portland and Vancouver inhabitants can beat the heat, save money, and limit their environmental impact with an efficiently running air conditioning unit. You can do little things every day to improve AC efficiency, from altering air flow, to changing filters, and adjusting the thermostat. AAA can help you decide on the best cooling options for your Portland or Vancouver area home.
Do you have an older furnace or A/C that is not running very efficiently? Or even worse not running at all? A replacement furnace or A/C unit is the best, and usually quickest to fix that problem. In today’s economy most homeowners do not have the cash lying around to replace heating or cooling equipment at the drop of a hat. For this reason, AAA Heating & Cooling offers a fantastic financing program with GE Capital.
Financing Example: Replacing a Heating or Cooling Unit
A typical furnace purchase of $5000-$6000 can be financed to cost as little as $62.50 a month, with no money down. For most homeowners this unreachable purchase is suddenly a very do-able monthly payment. You can also finance a portion of the purchase if need be. For example, if you wanted to add A/C you could finance solely the cost of the air conditioning system, and then pay cash or credit for the furnace.