Did you know that heating and cooling account for about 48 percent of your home energy costs? That’s according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and that eye-opening statistic reveals how much money you can save if you start using your air conditioner more widely and productively.
Here are seven ways you can save money on air conditioning …
1. Seal your windows
Caulking and weather stripping around windows is an easy and cheap DIY home repair. It can prevent the loss of cooled air and the infiltration of humid outdoor air that will make indoor conditions less tolerable.
The key is to do a thorough job, to make sure every crack and crevice is covered on every window in your home.
2. Install a programmable thermostat and raise the temperature settings
Studies show that raising your thermostat temperature setting by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day will cut your air conditioning bills by about 10 percent (with higher savings for longer hours).
A programmable thermostat is ideal for this, since it can be set to turn your air conditioner down when you’re sleeping or away from home and don’t need it running full blast.
3. Use ceiling fans
Naturally, fans in general are a solid air conditioning supplement. But ceiling fans are especially helpful, since they are quiet, use miniscule amounts of energy and can increase comfort levels dramatically in the rooms you occupy.
If you install ceiling fans be sure to set them to turn counterclockwise in the summer, that creates a cooling breeze by blowing air downward.
4. Change your HVAC filters
Clogged and dirty air filters reduce the quantity of air flowing through your HVAC duct system, thereby forcing your air conditioner to work harder to match thermostat temperature settings.
Air filters should be changed right before the start of each heating or cooling season, and to guarantee good performance you should avoid cheap, inefficient fiberglass models in favor of pleated or electrostatic filters.
5. Don’t cook indoors, especially in the daytime
This one seems like a no-brainer, but out of habit many people continue to cook indoors in even the hottest weather, even though it can raise the temperature in your kitchen and adjoining rooms substantially.
If you must use the oven or stove in the summertime, try to get your cooking done before 9:00 AM or after 8:00 PM. You can use a microwave to reheat your food when it’s time to eat.
6. Reduce sunlight penetration through windows
Up to three-fourths of the sunlight that hits your windows in the summertime will penetrate as heat, which can put a tremendous strain on air conditioners already struggling to keep up during the hottest hours of the day.
Drapes, curtains, blinds, shades, shutters, awnings and low-e window film can all cut sunlight penetration dramatically, and it is especially important to keep southern windows covered during times of the day when the sun is high in the sky.
7. Have your air conditioner serviced
The ideal time to arrange an inspection, cleaning and tune-up for your air conditioner is in April or early May, right before cooling season starts. But it’s never too late to take action, and if you haven’t already done so you should contact your HVAC contractor and make an appointment for an air conditioner maintenance visit today.
A well-maintained air conditioner will last longer, work more efficiently and break down far less often.
IAQ is Synonymous with Lower Air Conditioning Bills
When air conditioner maintenance and repair services are required, Indoor Air Quality, Inc. is the winning choice in Highlands Ranch and throughout the Denver Metro Area. In addition to the tips listed here, we can offer even more sound advice about how to cut your summertime cooling costs, and our expert technicians can help keep your air conditioner and the rest of your heating and cooling system in tip-top working condition. Call us today, and let’s talk about what we can do to help you improve your air conditioner’s operating efficiency.