Your air conditioner can increase your electricity bill by up to 60%, but you can lessen the impact of your AC by making some easy adjustments around your home. Simply follow these 7 steps and you’ll stay cooler without having to spend a fortune.
1. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a huge money-saver that will easily pay for itself in a single cooling season in many cases.
That’s because it never forgets to shut off the system when you’re not home, or adjust the temperature when you can get away with it. There are some wonderful new systems out there that allow you to manage your home’s temperature from your smartphone, so you can leave it off most of the day and turn it on half an hour before you get home.
A thermostat stops the compressor when the temperature in your home reaches a comfortable level, keeping the unit from working harder and using more energy. For maximum savings set your programmable thermostat to a higher temperature when you are not at home and lower it to 25° Celsius (78° Fahrenheit) when you’re indoors. If 25° sounds too hot, remember that your AC also removes a lot of the humidity from your air, so it will actually feel much cooler.
2. Clean Your AC Filters Regularly
This is the second most important thing you can do to reduce your electricity bills.
Even if your home is kept clean, natural dust and hair accumulation can clog your filter, making your air conditioning unit use more power to reach the temperature you set. This can send your electricity bills skyrocketing, so replace or clean your filters (if you have the washable kind) every few weeks.
3. Close All The Vents In The Lower Areas Of Your House
As you may remember from your science classes in school, heat rises and cool air falls. In your home, you may have noticed that the second story is the hardest part of your home to keep cool. Meanwhile, your basement always seems to be cooler.
Closing all the vents in lower areas of your home will redirect the cold air to warmer areas and keep the temperatures more even without consuming more energy.
4. Use Ceiling Fans for Air Circulation
Ceiling fans help offset the natural tendency for cool air to fall.
If you’re trying to save energy by keeping your home set to a slightly warmer temperature, they’re a great way to keep air circulating air while using much less energy. As well, they can actually make you feel up to 8 degrees cooler because they keep the air moving – it’s like a fresh breeze inside your home.
5. Schedule an HVAC Check Up Annually
HVAC technicians inspect and service the unit to ensure that it operates efficiently. They remove accumulated dirt, check for defects, service the unit, replace air filters if necessary and address problems that would otherwise grow into expensive repairs and replacements. Schedule a check up annually and you’ll increase the energy efficiency of your unit and lengthens the service life of your air conditioning system.
6. Seal Crevices and Cracks
You don’t need to be super handy to use a caulking gun to seal up the cracks and crevices around doors and windows. This prevents the cold air from escaping and keeps the hot air leaking from inside. DIY weather stripping for doors will also help ensure that you’re not paying to cool the outdoors.
7. Close The Drapes On the South and West Sides
Everyone knows that a car gets extremely hot when parked in the sun, but most people don’t know that the same thing happens to your home. This is due to sunlight entering through windows and converting to heat once inside. Keeping blinds and drapes shut on any windows facing south or west will mean you don’t have to pay to remove that extra heat.
Keep Cooling Costs Lower
With a little bit of effort, you can reduce the cooling costs for any kind of air conditioning system.
Dan is the Digital Marketing Manager for Service Champions. He blogs about home improvement in his spare time.