Practical advice for the use of Air Conditioning

In summer, air conditioning can be responsible for 60 to 70% of the cost of electricity in the home.

This year, more than ever, we must become aware of the importance of using it rationally.
Why? From the environmental point of view, 86% of the energy used comes from gas and oil, highly polluting sources, generating CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The air conditioner is the appliance with the highest electrical consumption (seasonal) in our home. Therefore, the less we use it, the less we will contaminate.

What can we do to rationalize the use of air conditioning?
The cleanest energy is the one that is not consumed. If we can avoid the use of air conditioning, the better. If we are going to use it, here are some useful tips to reduce consumption and make more efficient use:

Use the thermostat between 24 and 26ºC. For each degree that you lower the temperature, you will be consuming between 5 and 8% more energy.
Over-cooling the environment is harmful to health. The majority of colds related to the use of air conditioning are due to the use of too low temperatures, or to a defective design in the cold air distribution system. The air outlet temperature is usually between 10 ° C and 15 ° C, so the baffle deflectors should be oriented so that the air diffuses throughout the room and not directly on the occupants.
Avoid sudden thermal jumps. Differences of more than 10-12ºC with the outside temperature are harmful to health. A difference of 5º is pleasant and healthy.
Do not adjust the thermostat to a lower temperature than the desired one when turning on the equipment, it will not cool faster and will suppose an unnecessary energy expenditure.
Clean the air conditioner filters at least twice a year. A dirty filter reduces performance and increases consumption up to 10%.
Keep the ventilation ducts free. Verify that the air conditioning inputs and outputs are not being obstructed. This generates a greater flow of air through the other grids and generates a cold sensation. The grilles must be kept clean and free of dirt, dust and foreign objects.
Avoid opening doors and windows of the space you are heating. If you get cold when the air is on, I raised the temperature of the thermostat. If you still have to open windows, cover vents, etc., notify the maintenance service, something is poorly designed or not working properly and must be corrected.
The evaporation effect of living plants refreshes the environment. Place them in front of the windows and next to the doors.
If you live in a house, plant deciduous trees (whose leaves fall in winter) to the north and northwest for which the house receives shade in summer but let the winter sun pass.
The doors and windows must be properly sealed to avoid excessive air leaks. Use weather stripping or silicone sealant.
A fan or even the fan of the air conditioning can be sufficient in many cases to maintain an acceptable comfort without having to turn on the air conditioner. The movement of air produces a sensation of descent of the temperature between 3 and 5º C.
Ventilate the house when the street air is cooler than the interior air (early morning and during the night).
If your device has a timer or energy saving system use it. Some have a “stand-by or wait” mode when they detect the absence of people in the room. If not, disconnect it when there is no one or leave your home for a prolonged period of time.
Installing awnings, closing the blinds, avoiding the entrance of hot air inside the house and properly insulating walls and ceilings, energy savings of up to 30% in air conditioning are achieved.
Tinted glass and reflective films allow you to save up to 20% of the air conditioning consumption.
Painting external surfaces with light colors can reduce heat input by up to 75%. Using special paints with ceramic components you can reflect up to 95% of the solar radiation.
If you are buying a new equipment, evaluate your needs well before choosing a model. Do not choose larger or more powerful devices than necessary, since they are more expensive and waste energy. If you need several devices the best thing is a centralized installation, which is much more efficient in energy consumption. Buying an efficient team is important and easy to identify, thanks to the energy label. There are 7 efficiency classes, identified by a color code and letters that range from green and the letter A for the most efficient equipment, to the red color and the letter G for less efficient equipment.
If you need heating in addition to air conditioning, install devices with heat pump, preferably with inverter technology. You will have both functions in a single device and up to a quarter of heating consumption with a traditional system. With regard to this last point, I would like to clarify that an electric climate system is more sustainable than one that uses gas. Although at present, as we indicated at the beginning, much of the energy is produced using fossil fuels, an electrical system is “future proof”. We know that natural gas reserves are being depleted and that this source of polluting energy will undoubtedly be replaced by other sources of clean energy.