Cooling your home in the heat of the summer can be expensive. Keeping your house comfortable while spending as little as possible is a great goal. Cates Heating and Cooling has some advice for homeowners who are hoping to spend a little less on their air conditioning bills this summer.
1. Turn on the Ceiling Fan
Fans can help create the wind-chill effect, which further circulates the air to make the room feel cooler. In reality, the temperature doesn’t change, but you will feel more comfortable anyway. According to the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), turning on the ceiling fan can make a room feel 10° cooler while using only ten percent of the energy that your air conditioner would use.
2. Try to Be as Economical as Possible
You can save yourself a little bit of money each summer by turning the air conditioner on as high as possible while still keeping everyone in the home comfortable. If you can keep your thermostat set slightly higher than normal, you can start to notice a cost reduction of up to ten percent. While not comfortable for everyone, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you keep your thermostat set to 78°F while you are at home during the summer.
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat can also help keep the temperatures in your home more consistent. When you program your thermostat to run a certain way, your air conditioner can gradually reach the desired temperatures in your instead of running on full blast to try to quickly cool the space.
Even better, you can invest in a smart thermostat that will track energy usage so that you can see the best ways to save money based on how you have previously used your air conditioner.
4. Cover Your Windows
The sun coming in through the windows can add a lot of heat to a room. By using blinds and curtains, you can eliminate some of the excess heat that is pouring into your home from the outdoors. Blackout curtains are the most effective at preventing additional heat from entering your house.
If your thermostat is in a room that sees a lot of sunlight, you might want to consider blackout curtains to prevent unnecessary air conditioning expenses. These expenses occur because your thermostat will register that it is hotter in your home than it really is due to its placement in a hot area of the house.
5. Seal Windows and Doors
When windows and doors aren’t sealed properly, hot air can slowly leak in through the small leaks. Additionally, you are letting the cool air that you are paying for to slip out. Make sure that all windows and doors are properly sealed with weather stripping and caulk.
If your windows are really old and aren’t well-insulated, it might be better to just start over fresh. New windows will have a large upfront cost, but over the life of the windows, you will save a lot more money your heating and cooling bills if you aren’t wasting between 25 and 30 percent of your heating and cooling energy usage each year.
6. Keep Up with AC Maintenance
When your HVAC system isn’t properly maintained, it will probably run less efficiently. This means that you need to make sure that your air filters and outdoor unit are kept clean. You should also invest in yearly maintenance plans to make sure that a professional is servicing the unit on a regular basis. Making sure that everything is as clean as possible can reduce your energy consumption by five to 15 percent each year.
7. Avoid Heat Buildup
A lot of the things that we regularly do in our home generate heat. Cooking, running the dishwasher, and doing laundry can all make your home warmer, which will cause your air conditioner to work harder to cool the house. When possible, avoid doing these activities, especially during the hottest times of the day. You can also start handwashing dishes or air drying your clothes to prevent adding heat into your house. You can also spend more time grilling or microwaving food instead of using the stove or oven, which generate a lot of extra heat.
8. Upgrade Your AC
In some cases, the best thing you can do to save money on your cooling bills in the summer is to upgrade your AC unit. New air conditioning units are likely to be more efficient than those that are more than ten to 15 years old. While there will be an upfront cost associated with purchasing a new, more efficient AC unit, you will quickly make up that cost with savings on your energy bills.
To update or repair your air conditioner, contact Cates Heating and Cooling today at 913-888-4470. Our technicians will be happy to offer a free estimate as well as some money-saving tips they may find around the house.