How to Spend Less Money on Air Conditioning This Summer
Combat Rising Utility Costs
Energy costs are rising across the nation. In the summer, utility bills are expected to skyrocket as more and more people rely on their air conditioning to keep cool. In fact, did you know that your air conditioner is one of the greatest electricity users in your home? For many homeowners, running their AC accounts for 50% of their power bill each month during the summer. Further still, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioning accounts for 6% of total power usage in the U.S.
As other living costs have also increased dramatically in recent months (the price of gas and food, to name a couple), more and more people are looking for ways to cut down on costs. With so much of your monthly energy going to running your cooling system, this is a great area to focus on.
Keep reading for five easy ways to reduce your cooling costs this summer.
#1: Utilize Fans Throughout Your Home
If you're looking to make an impact on your utility bill, the first thing you should do is learn how to support your cooling system with fans. Ceiling fans, in particular, are excellent at improving airflow in your home and can help push conditioned air throughout your home, helping it cool down faster and more evenly. The faster the cool air makes it throughout your home, the less your AC has to run.
You may also find that you can set your thermostat a few degrees higher than you thought you needed to achieve the optimal temperature! We recommend setting your thermostat between 74° and 78° during summer. This is cool enough to feel relief from the heat of the day but not so low that your AC has to work overtime to maintain it.
#2: Get to Know Your Thermostat
Today, our thermostats are like small computers with a lot of functionality they used not to have. In addition to scheduling, many smart thermostats learn your habits and intuitively schedule your cooling to maximize energy efficiency. Spend some time getting to know your system and learn how all these features work. Use the scheduling function to ensure your system isn't running when you don't need it (while you're at work or at nighttime when it's cool enough outside to open the windows). Use the eco features and vacation modes to maximize your energy savings further.
#3: Cool Your Home Off at Night
Most of us know to keep our homes shut up during the day – closing our windows and blinds to block out the worst of the summer sun and heat. However, many of us just keep running the air conditioning and forget to open the house back up in the evening. When the temperatures drop at night, it is an excellent time to open your windows and use your fans to draw the cool air into your home. This will help reduce the temperature in your home without using excess electricity to run your cooling system, and it will improve the overall air quality in your home. A win-win!
#4: Make Sure Your Windows & Doors Are Well-Insulated and Sealed
A primary area in which many homes suffer cooling loss is through poor seals around their windows and doors. Additionally, if your home is older and doesn't have double-paned windows, you may also be losing cool air through the panes themselves. Before the summer heat hits, thoroughly review your home's windows and doors, replacing and repairing broken weather stripping and other issues. If it's in your budget, consider replacing old windows and doors with more energy-efficient ones which are Energy Star rated.
#5: Get Help from the Professionals
Finally, another great way to reduce your electricity bill is to get some help from the professionals. Namely, schedule routine AC maintenance. A well-maintained and regularly serviced AC will run more efficiently, use less energy, and keep your home more comfortable. At Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we have decades of experience helping homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their cooling systems, and we can help you stay cool while reducing your energy expenses.
Need help setting up an AC maintenance routine? Reach out to our AC experts at Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We are always here to help!