Come summer and everything seems sluggish due to the un-abating heat. We avoid going out in the afternoons, consume copious amounts of lemonade and other drinks to cool off, and crank up the air conditioning for some respite from the torridness. But have you wondered how you can save energy, not to mention money, all through the summer when you have no option but to rely on your one lifeline, the AC? We’ve put together a list of tricks that will help get your power situation under control!
What affects the power load of an AC?
The temperature inside and outside your house or office building, its thermal insulation i.e. the amount of heat absorbed/dissipated through the walls, ceiling and floor, and the temperature setting of the AC itself are major scorers in this category. If the difference between the current air temperature and the one that is desired is huge, the AC will use up more energy.
Pro Tip: The amount of heat that is absorbed through windows and the ceiling can be minimized by white painting your ceiling or using thermal insulating films on the glass panes. You may also try turning down the AC at night when it is cooler outside.
Seal off any outlets
It is very important to close any vents in the lower part of your home (especially the basement if you happen to have one). The air there is the coolest, and by sealing it in, you can drive it to cool your entire living space as it rises upward. Seeing to it that any AC ducts in your building are well insulated is also a sure shot way of ensuring maximum cooling.
Pro Tip: Make sure that the external/outdoor unit of your AC does not receive too much direct heat from the sun and is an uncluttered area of the premises – this will increase its efficiency, thereby decreasing its power consumption.
Temperature regulation techniques
The lower the temperature setting of your AC, the more power it consumes. An average temperature setting of 25 oC is optimal. Use the ‘quick cool’ feature in your AC more sparingly as this will bring the temperature down to 16 oC to 18 oC, leading to the overloading of the compressor unit.
Pro Tip: Having a ceiling or table fan circulate the cool air that is coming from the AC will help decrease the load on it.
If you’d much rather have a smaller space, like just your bedroom cooled, opt for window or portable AC units. These use upto 50% less energy when compared to more conventional models.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you go in for regular AC maintenance checks, especially before the start of the hot season.