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For many of us, summer heat means higher electric bills as soon as we start running the air conditioner. While you can’t completely eliminate the expenses for the AC, there are a lot of ways you can reduce air conditioning costs and still stay cool in the summer.
Check the tips out
If you have ceiling fans, they should be the first place you go when trying to cool down and save money. Ceiling fans use much less electricity than air conditioners, and can make the temperature in a room feel up to seven degrees cooler. Most ceiling fans can rotate in clockwise and counterclockwise directions. For summer, ensure your ceiling fans are set to rotate counterclockwise and run them at a high setting. This will make sure the blades push cooler down towards the floor and help you stay cool.
Blinds, shades, and curtains are another great way to help keep your home cooler in the summertime. Using window coverings that reflect light will keep temperatures down inside your house in the hottest parts of the day, which means your air conditioner will run less often. If you want to really improve your energy efficiency, you can invest in blinds or shades designed to reduce heat transfer. Honeycomb shades, for example, use air pockets to trap air around windows, which helps keep rooms cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Check for Leaks
Though you might not realize it, leaks can result in a lot of heat transfer, which makes your AC work harder to keep your home at the proper temperature. Check for air leakage around windows and doors, and add caulk or weatherstripping where necessary. You should also check for leaks within the ductwork of your HVAC system. Sealing any holes or gaps in the ductwork will improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and reduce your cooling costs.
The thermostat is where most households can make the biggest impact on their cooling bills. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to increase the temperature by several degrees when you’re not at home. That will make the AC run less often and reduce your energy bills. Smart thermostats are another great option for saving money on your summer cooling costs. Smart thermostats learn your household’s habits and automatically adjust the temperature in the most efficient ways possible to help you stay comfortable and save money.
Regular maintenance is important for all areas of your home, and your HVAC system is no exception. Conducting regular inspections and preventative maintenance will ensure your system operates at peak performance. Regular professional inspections can also help to catch any small issues before they become large problems, which can help to extend the overall life of your HVAC systems.
As an added service, some companies offer HVAC maintenance clubs that make keeping up with regular system maintenance really simple. For a monthly fee, maintenance clubs offer their members a variety of benefits, such as regular inspections, discounts on repairs and replacement equipment, priority booking and more. Joining a maintenance club is a great way to inexpensively and effectively keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape, which can improve efficiency and reduce the overall cost of operating the system. Plus, regular professional inspections will ensure that any potential problems or necessary repairs are spotted as early as possible.
The filters on your home’s HVAC system trap dirt, allergens, and other undesirable particles from your home’s air. As the dirt builds up on the filter, it can make your HVAC system work harder to circulate air through your home. That decreases the efficiency of the system and can put unnecessary strain on your furnace or air conditioner, causing it to wear out sooner than necessary. How often a filter needs to be replaced is based on a variety of factors, including type of filter, age of your home, how many people are in the house, if you have any pets, etc. A good rule of thumb is to replace filters every 30 days when you’re running the furnace or air conditioner.
Limit Appliance Usage
Some appliances in your home can generate a lot of heat. So, if you’re trying to keep your home cool and your energy bills low, you might reconsider how you’re using some standard household appliances, such as the dishwasher, dryer, and oven. For example, you could try running the dishwasher a few times per week, instead of every day. On the days you do run it, try running it later at night when outside temperatures aren’t at their peak. There are also a lot of alternatives for creating delicious summer meals without heating the house up from using the oven. Summer is great for grilling outside, or making meals that don’t require cooking at all, like salads. You could also try using an alternate method of cooking inside, such as a toaster oven, which generates much less heat. Being conscious of how you use large appliances that generate a lot of heat can really help keep your home cooler while keeping your energy bills lower.
In the end, the most important aspect is to never take your HVAC system for granted. If something goes wrong, you aren’t going to stay cool or stay low on costs. Throughout the long summer months, always make sure to be keeping the health of your air conditioner in mind. It’s the best possible way to reduce costs while staying cool.