Summer comes with heat and high energy costs. Don’t get stuck with increased electric bills. Lower your cooling costs with these 11 tips.
When the temperature rises, so does your electric bill. Running your air conditioner in June, July, and August means that your AC is working extra hard to keep you and your family comfortable.
But that comfort comes at a cost. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay cool while saving money.
Check out these 11 ways to lower your cooling costs while also staying cool.
1. Use Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans have a big impact in summertime heat. The wind-chill from a fan can make temperatures feel 6-7 degrees cooler. If you want to see savings, use ceiling fans in conjunction with raising your thermostat. Doing both will help you stay cool and save money.
2. Keep Heat Out with Blinds and Curtains
Light from the sun transfers heat energy. By closing your blinds and curtains during the day, you can prevent heat from entering your home by deflecting it. Blinds or curtains that are bright in color will reflect sunlight and prevent your home from absorbing unwanted heat.
3. Install Energy Efficient Window Screens
Mesh window screens are another effective way to combat heat from the sun. Mesh window screens can disperse the sunlight that comes through your windows and in doing so lower the cooling costs of your home.
4. Seal Home Effectively
Doing a thorough job of eliminating all drafts in your home will help you lower cooling costs in the summer and heating costs in the winter. Caulking or weather-stripping windows and doors can prevent indoor air from escaping and outdoor air from entering your home.
5. Run AC with Cost Savings in Mind
Most people adjust their thermostats with comfort in mind. But in order to save energy and money, you should run your AC economically. That means keeping your AC at a temperature that is as close to outdoor temperatures as possible. It’s recommended to keep thermostats at 78 degrees in the summer. You can even go beyond this and raise your thermostat at times when it’s not needed. Perhaps, while you’re at work or at night when temperatures are lower.
6. Install a Smart Thermostat
Another way to run your AC with savings in mind is to install a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can manage the temperatures of your home according to your schedule and even be accessed via cell phone.
7. Schedule AC Maintenance
You wouldn’t take your car on a road trip without an oil change—same with your air conditioner. It’s best to get AC service done in the spring in order to prevent breakdowns in the summer. A certified HVAC service technician can help you get your AC working efficiently for the summer months.
8. Change Your Indoor Air Filters
A dirty air filter can make it difficult for your AC to push cool air back into your home. By replacing or cleaning your indoor air filters every 6 weeks to 3 months, you can keep your indoor air clean and your energy costs lower.
9. Prevent Heat Buildup by Changing Daily Routines
A lot of heat can be built up in a home by using appliance such as your stove, oven, dryer, or dishwasher. Heat buildup from these appliances can make your AC work extra hard during the hot hours of the day. Find ways to reduce the use of these appliances. For example, wait until evening to dry clothes, grill outside, or hand wash your dishes.
10. Replace Outdated Air Conditioners
Old HVAC units can be a drain on your utility bill. Replacing outdated air conditioners with a new energy efficient system will pay off in the long run.
11. Plant Shade Trees
Shade trees can have a dramatic effect on your home’s energy efficiency. Granted, this strategy won’t help you now, but years down the road you’ll be glad you planted trees that offer shade. To get specific with your planting, focus on shading the east and west sides of your house as well as your AC unit. Offering shade to these areas will help you lower cooling costs in the future.
Richmond’s Air offers HVAC services to Houston and the surrounding area.
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