Keep the heat off your electrical bills this summer by employing some common sense methods. Don’t worry, this article is not suggesting that you give up the wonderful luxury of your air conditioner, only that you choose to use it wisely. No amount of fans or hydration can really take the place of the relaxing feeling of walking into a cool home after spending time in the sweltering heat.
In fact, the U.S. Energy Department estimates that a full two-thirds of homes in the United States have a unit to cool the air. This correlates to five percent of the actual electricity produced in America, and equals over 11 billion dollars collectively charged to the consumer.
So with that said, saving money on your air conditioning practices is an important step to alleviating a hefty bills while enjoying the cool indoor temperatures.
1. Upgrade to a new unit
If your system is on its last legs, and is just not cooling the air like it used to, consider an upgrade. HVAC units that are over 10 years old are often more cost effective than struggling to keep up with air conditioning repairs.
2. Bigger is not always better
The biggest unit is often not the best choice. A unit that is too big for your home will often cool the room quickly, but will also leave a damp and clammy feeling behind because the unit did not have time to reach maximum efficiency. Ask a professional for the best size for your area and then have it properly installed for the best possible fit.
3. Change the air filter
Taking the time to perform monthly maintenance can do wonders to extending the life of a air conditioner. One simple fix is to change your air filter on a regular schedule especially during seasons of heavy use. The recommended time frame is to change the filter once every three months, but if it is dirty, change it!
4. Use programmable thermostat
The benefits of programmable thermostats are many. Not only can the cooling system be controlled throughout the day,and regulated at night, this translates to a big savings on your monthly bills.
5. Install ceiling fans
Boost the cooling power of your unit by using fans. Ceiling fans in particular can decrease the overall temperature of your home by around 8 degrees, which may not sound like much, but when coupled with the power of an air conditioning system, it is significant.
6. Close your windows
Of course you need to keep windows and doors closed if your system is running, but keeping blinds closed and curtains pulled can really cut down on the stress of the AC unit. If you include white plastic backings on your drapes, the energy cost can actually be cut by an additional percentage.
7. Focus on one room
A single window unit may be an option for your home. If it is, than be sure to focus your attention on one room, but do not forget to use many of the same techniques on the rest of your house for best results.