Keeping your system properly maintained will reduce energy and repair costs, prevent breakdowns and prolong the life of your equipment. Some maintenance jobs should be left to the professionals, but there is much that you can do to prolong the life of your equipment and keep it running at peak efficiency.
• Set your thermostat at 78°F or higher. Each degree setting below 78°F will increase your energy consumption by approximately 8%.
• Reduce the cooling load by using cost-effective conservation measures. For example, effectively shade east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities, such as dishwashing, until the evening on hot days.
• Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don't let in unwanted heat and humidity. If practical, ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.
• Try not to use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
• Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. Keep the temperature fairly constant, as frequent changes will utilize more energy by causing unnecessary cycling on and off. Setting back the temperature at night, however, is recommended.
• Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
• Keep draperies and shades on south-facing windows open during the heating season to allow sunlight to enter your home; close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
• Close the door to an unoccupied room or area that is isolated from the rest of the house and turn down the thermostat or turn off the heat for that room or area.
• Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely. Turn these fans off as soon as they are no longer needed. In about 1 hour, these fans can draw out all the heated or cooled air from your house.