7 Easy Ways to Lower Your AC Bill this Summer
Fun fact: According to the Energy Information Administration, Americans spent most of their energy and money on cooling their homes.
Yet another fun fact: The U.S. Department of energy records that both heat and AC use half of your home’s overall energy use.
With these facts in mind as well as the upcoming summer season, here are seven big ways you can stay cool while saving money on your air conditioning bill.
Energy Saving Tip #1: Close Your Blinds, Curtains, and Windows
Sometimes, saving money on your air conditioning bill starts by closing your windows.
By leaving them open, you’re inviting more heat to enter your home, forcing your air conditioning system to work even harder than before. As a result, you’ll end up paying more.
Aside from keeping your windows shut tight, here are some other ways to keep the heat at bay (or outside your house):
- Use highly reflective window blinds or blackout curtains
- Hang your curtains close to the windows
- Plant a tree nearby for shade
Energy Saving Tip #2: Check for Hidden Cracks
Regardless if your home is old or new, those little sneaky cracks in your attics, bedrooms, and worn doors are more than capable of releasing cool air outside.
To find out if this is a problem, you have the option of signing up for a home energy audit with your local utility provider/contractor or going the DIY route.
If you choose to do it yourself, investigate your home from top to bottom, using your hand to find drafts as well as hidden cracks. Depending on where they’re located, you’ll need to caulk or insulate these problem areas to prevent more leaks.
Energy Saving Tip #3: Use a Fan
Although it may seem like a better idea to crank up the AC when it gets too hot outside, there are times when it’s better to use a fan instead, especially if you’re the only one at home.
But if you do want to use air conditioning, your ceiling fan will distribute the cool air more evenly, thus making you and your home cool faster vs. using your AC alone.
Energy Saving Tip #4: Keep your AC level steady
A common misconception I hear all the time is that you’ll save more energy by keeping the AC low when no one’s home.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. According to Christina Keilch, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Energy, she says that “setting your AC as high as is comfortably possible and using a programmable thermostat to increase temperature when you’re out, or asleep, could easily decrease your summer cooling bill by 10%.”
The reason why is because your air conditioning unit is designed to operate more efficiently when it’s at full speed for long periods of time. By constantly switching up the thermostat, you’ll exhaust your AC and, in the long run, waste your hard-earned money.
Ideally, the perfect temperature to save the most electricity is 72 degrees.
Energy Saving Tip #5: Avoid heat generating activities
This one is a no-brainer: if you want to stay cool indoors, don’t do anything that’ll make you get hot indoors.
A lot of the time, most people don’t abide by this rule and continue to use heat heavy appliances such as the television, dryers, and kitchen stoves as their AC hums even more louder in the background.
As an example, instead of relying on your kitchen stove, cook your food outside via grill or use an appliance that uses less electricity such as a crockpot. The same can be said for drying your clothes; instead of relying on your dryer, hang your clothes outdoors by using a clothesline.
The key point is that there are many alternatives available that can help you stay cool while you save money on your air conditioning bill.
Energy Saving Tip #6: Maintain your HVAC systems
Did you know that it’s extremely simple to regularly check up on your HVAC system?
Just like taking care of your family heirlooms or visiting your car dealer for a tune up, you save more money, time, and energy the more you take proper care of the things you value the most, this includes your HVAC unit, too.
Here’s several ways you can conduct your own preventative maintenance checks on your AC system right now:
- Replace your air filters every month, even more so if you live with multiple people and pets
- Clear the surrounding area of any objects such as boxes
- If located outdoors, get rid of debris like dead leaves and dirt and protect with a cover
Just a precaution, if there is something that does look like you need the help of an expert, you should really call one instead of attempting to fix it yourself. At THA Heating, Air, & Plumbing, we currently offer 10% off on repairs, including general AC issues.
Energy Saving Tip #7: Upgrade if Necessary
Let’s face it- there are times when it’s a lot better to repair or even replace your AC unit instead of relying on DIY projects alone.
While it will cost you money up-front, in the long run, you’ll be saving more.
When looking for a new air conditioner, always aim for an Energy Star appliance. Usually found in sticker or comes attached with a yellow paper form, these units use up 14% less energy than government requirements. In addition, you may be entitled to a tax credit of up to 30% of its cost.
Whether you’ve already been doing this for a while now or not, you’re heading in the right direction. Not only are you keeping more money in your wallet, you’re making better decisions – decisions that will greatly benefit you and your loved ones in the long run.
What are some other ways you save money on your energy bill?
Do you live in San Diego and are in need of an HVAC or plumbing service? Call (858) 571-8865 to schedule your next repair, install, or anything else in between today!