Air conditioners make life so much better in summer, but we are often asked if they are bad for the environment.
The answer is no. Today’s air conditioners are more eco-friendly than the old models from the 80s. The problem with the older models is that they depleted the ozone layer. But now, air conditioners use refrigerants that are WAY better and are virtually harmless.
The only potential problem with air conditioners is that they do use energy. If you use them wisely, however, they don’t have to use much. With electricity bills soaring in Ontario, many people are making it a priority to use their air conditioner as little as possible. The good news is that there are lots of ways to reduce your cooling costs by keeping your home cooler, to begin with.
Trees are Your Friends
Planting trees around your house will provide shade that can add up to big savings. While it does take many years to see the benefit, a few trees between the sun and your home will pay off significantly.
If adding trees doesn’t make sense in your yard, shade the outdoor unit of your air conditioner. Called a condenser, its job is to disperse the heat removed from the inside of your home. The cooler you keep your condenser, the better it can do its job. As long as the condenser has a foot or two of open space on every side, you can add fencing or shrubs to keep it shaded.
Keep Your Windows Shaded
You know what it’s like when you get into a car that’s been sitting in the sun for a few hours. Well, your home experiences the “hot car effect” too. It’s called “passive solar gain”, it’s when the sunlight gets through the windows and heats up the air inside, which then has nowhere else to go.
You can reduce passive solar gain by keeping blinds or drapes closed on any windows that face south or west.
Use the Oven/Stove Less
In summer when the heat is on, you don’t want to add to it.
Instead of using your stove or oven, change your meal plan so you’re eating more healthy salads, fresh fruit, and other cool meals. If you must have heated foods, consider using your microwave instead, or treat yourself to a restaurant meal. And of course, nothing says summer like a barbecue!
Rearrange Your Furniture
If you have couches, long drapes, or other furniture blocking vents, move things around so that there’s no interference with the airflow in your home.
Keeping your air conditioner in tip-top condition means it can perform more efficiently. A yearly service check will also find small problems before they become large ones and extend the lifespan of the machine. If you’re due for tune-up give Airrad Heating and Cooling a call at 519-962-9898. We’re happy to help with all your maintenance needs.