10 Ways to Cut Your Air Conditioning Costs
As the days get hotter, homeowners are looking to keep their homes as cool as possible. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, three-quarters of all homes own an air conditioner and these devices use up to 6% of all the electricity in the U.S. The annual cost of using the AC system piles up to $29 billion. This results in a lot of energy waste and carbon pollution, 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to be precise.
Fortunately, if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint and perhaps more importantly for you, your electrical bill, there are some guidelines you can follow to minimize the energy waste and still stay cool during the hot summer days. There are several ways you can minimize the strain you put your AC through, which in turn means lower bills and healthier environment.
In this article, we give you 10 ways to save more on your air conditioning.
Stop Wasting the Cool Air
An old home is more likely to let the cool air your AC unit produces out through the worn-out door and poorly insulated windows, attics and other cracks in your home. To make sure you don’t waste the cool air make sure you properly insulate your home. It might seem like a major investment, but in the long run, it will pay off greatly.
Ensure the Air Conditioning System is Properly Installed
Nothing can affect the air conditioner’s longevity and energy efficiency more than poor installation. If any of the components is mishandled or poorly installed at the very beginning, you are going to experience cooling issues as well as enormous electrical bills.
Therefore, when buying a new AC system make sure you hire the right people for the job. Find a reputable company by going through online reviews and recommendations. Once you’ve found a company you feel comfortable working with, run them past websites like Yelp or Better Business Bureau to confirm their legitimacy.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
An older thermostat is more likely to result in a larger electrical bill. New, cutting edge programmable thermostats can help you maintain the pleasant atmosphere and still save on your electrical bill. These thermostats can regulate heating and cooling even when you are out.
Smart thermostats can even be used remotely, so you can set the temperature the way you like it just before you get back home. The best part is that your AC won’t have to work all day to ensure you come back to a cool home.
Mind Where You Place the Thermostat
One thing most homeowners don’t realize is that thermostat placement can make a huge difference in your electrical bill. A thermostat sitting next to a hot window will push the air conditioner to work more than it needs to as the temperature near the window is greater than the actual room temperature. For the best results, make sure to place the thermostat in a room that you use the most, on an interior wall. Make sure it’s not obstructed by plants, doors or shelves, as this can interfere with the thermostat’ sensors.
Use a Fan
If you need to turn the temperature down just by a few degrees, you don’t necessarily need to use the air conditioner. For example, a ceiling fan can be used to drop the temperature for as many as 10 degrees. The best thing is that it uses 10% less energy than an air conditioner to achieve this.
Raise the Temperature While You’re Away
One of the common misconceptions homeowners cling to is that leaving the AC at a lower temperature while they are away is the most efficient way to cool your home, as the system won’t have to work extra to get the temperature down when you return. In reality, the most energy efficient way to use the AC is to turn the thermostat up while you’re away.
AC systems operate most efficiently at full speed over longer time periods. So setting the thermostat lower when you get home will actually save more compared to the AC cycling on and off while you’re away.
Again, you can use smart thermostats to keep the temperature higher during the day and set it lower just before you come back home.
Replace the Filters
Air filters help the AC run better as they prevent dust from blocking the vents and obstructing the air flow. However, if the filters get too dirty they can have a completely opposite effect on your AC’s performance. To prevent this from happening, make sure to replace the filters once every few months or even more frequently if you have kids or pets.
Reduce the Sunlight Entering Your Home
No matter how long or how low you keep the AC working, sunlight entering your home can significantly heat up your home. To prevent this, consider investing in your landscaping and planting shade trees outside the windows. This will both increase your home’s curb appeal and prevent the sun from heating up your home. Alternatively, you could use window blinders as an artificial shield against the sun’s rays.
Install Solar Panels
Using the sun’s rays to actually keep your home cooler is great on so many levels, and thanks to solar panels you can do exactly that. The installation price depends on a number of factors, but many states offer incentives to homeowners looking to add solar power to their home. Depending on the area you live in you could save a lot. In addition to that, solar panels reduce the energy needed to cool your home by 12% as they shade the roof and absorb all the sun’s rays and with them the heat.
Have Your AC System Regularly Checked
A malfunctioning AC unit can use much more energy than it actually needs for a number of reasons. Whether the problem is in the filters, coils or other components, if your AC is not in peak condition it’s likely to reflect on your comfort and your bill. A reputable local contractor like Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Solar can help you keep your AC in its prime by cleaning the outdoor coils, checking the electrical connections and the refrigerant level.
Reach out to Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Solar:
2750 S Santa Fe Ave, San Marcos, CA 92069, USA