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With rising electrical costs, we are all looking for ways to cut back. Your air conditioner is one of the greatest power consumers in your home, and a significant portion of your electrical bill can be attributed to cooling costs. Not only does your AC keep your home at a reasonable temperature all summer long, but it is also responsible for keeping excess humidity at bay and for keeping your home's air clean and fresh. With such an important role to play, how are you supposed to cut back your AC usage?

Keep reading for some tips and tricks for keeping your home cool all summer long without spending a fortune on cooling.

Make Sure Your AC System Is in Good Condition

There is nothing more draining on your wallet than an out-of-condition, inefficient air conditioning system. ACs that are not well-maintained tend to have more frequent repair problems, a reduced lifespan and require more power to keep your home cool. If you want to maximize your energy savings this summer, your first step should be to schedule your annual AC maintenance visit with Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Our technicians will perform a thorough review of your system and help you get it ready for summer.

To learn more about how to get your AC ready for summer, read our blog post here.

Invest in Fans

When it comes to keeping your home cool in the summer, fans are your air conditioner's best friends. Ceiling fans are particularly helpful in that you can adjust their direction to ensure that cold air is being pushed efficiently throughout your home. The rule of thumb is to set your fans to spin counterclockwise in the summer to create a downdraft. Doing so will push the cool air down to the floor, expediting its circulation throughout your home. However, the placement of your HVAC vents may affect this. For example, if your HVAC vents are on the floor, you may prefer setting your fan to spin clockwise so that it pulls the cool air up and throughout the room.

Portable fans are also useful, especially if you are not able to install ceiling fans. They can be placed strategically throughout your home to provide you with fresh, circulating air when and where you need it. Fans also use less energy than your central air conditioning system. They not only provide a cooling effect, but they also help improve your HVAC's cooling efficiency, moving conditioned air more quickly throughout your home, allowing you to run your AC less.

Pay Attention to the Position of the Sun

As the sun streams in your windows, it increases the temperature in your home. Knowing what direction your house faces and the sun's path in relation to your windows can help you keep it cool in the summer. Keeping blinds and curtains closed when the sun is shining directly on those windows will help block and insulate your home from the sun's heat. Additionally, changing the direction of the slats on your blinds will allow you to block the direct impact of the sun while still allowing indirect light in.

Track Outside Temperatures as well as Indoor Temperatures

We tend to be most concerned with indoor air temperatures. After all, we spend most of our time inside. While we may notice that it is warm or humid out, we don't really think too much about what's going on outside. However, if you pay attention to the temperature outside, you can use it to your advantage. For example, during the parts of the year when the temperatures drop in the evenings and at night, you can open your windows and utilize fans to pull cool air into your home. This means you do not have to use your AC at night, and it can help delay how soon you need to turn it on the next morning.

Make Sure Vents Are Open & Not Blocked

As you start using your AC more often, make sure to review all the vents throughout your home. If any are closed, open them. If any are blocked by furniture, consider rearranging your furniture. Blocked and closed-off ducts can reduce the efficiency of your system overall. Your system will begin to work overtime trying to reach those areas. This can end up costing you hundreds of dollars in electricity costs, especially at the height of summer.

Consider Installing a Ductless Air Conditioner

Depending on the configuration of your home and where you spend most of your time, you may find that installing a ductless mini-split AC helpful. For example, if you spend most of your time in one specific area of your home, running a mini-split in that area may be more cost-effective than continuously running your central air system. Though a ductless system requires an initial investment, over time, it might save you money. Speak with the AC experts at Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to discuss your options and determine if this option is right for you.