Running your air conditioner can be a big expense, accounting for 60-70% of your energy bill. There’s no reason to sacrifice your comfort when the hot weather arrives, however. Here are 7 of our favorite ways to save money on cooling and stay comfortable at the same time.
1. Raise the temperature.
One or two degrees, or even a few more, won’t be noticeable in terms of how cool your home feels, but it can be quite noticeable on your monthly energy bills. Every degree you raise the thermostat can save you 3-4%.
2. Install ceiling fans (and make sure they are spinning the correct way).
Ceiling fans are very effective at circulating air and moving the warmer air away from where you are. They are inexpensive to buy and cost very little to operate (less than a penny an hour). A ceiling fan allows you to raise the temperature on your air conditioner 3-8 degrees without changing the ambient temperature in the room. Ceiling fans have a switch to adjust the direction for summer and winter. In summer, the fan should be blowing air down on you. When you stand below it and look up, the blades should be spinning counter-clockwise.
3. Close curtains, blinds and shades.
Window coverings are an excellent way to prevent solar heat gain that occurs when sunshine comes through the windows. Lighter colors work best for reflecting the sun, and you can also install reflective blinds or shades. The right coverings can reduce heat gain by 45%.
4. Avoid heat build-up during the day.
Certain activities, such as cooking with the stove or oven, generate heat and make it harder to cool your home. Use of computers, televisions and other electronics generate a lot of heat, as well. As much as possible, try to avoid those activities during the heat of the day. To limit heat gain in the bathroom while bathing, use the exhaust fan to remove excess heat and humidity.
5. Clean / replace your air filter.
Regularly cleaning or replacing your air filter is one of the most economical ways to keep your air conditioner running efficiently and effectively. Air filters should be changed once a month for optimal performance.
6. Use a programmable thermostat.
With a programmable thermostat you won’t be throwing money away cooling your home when no one is in it, or at night, when you don’t need it as much. Many people think it takes more energy to turn the air conditioner off and on again, but this is not true. Running the A/C all day uses significantly more energy. By turning it off, or raising the temperature setting, when no one is home or at night, you will save energy, the environment, and wear and tear on your air conditioner.
7. Maintain your air conditioner / cooling system.
Regular maintenance keeps your air conditioner running at peak efficiency. This saves money on your energy bills, helps you avoid costly repairs, and extends the life of your system. Annual maintenance may also be a requirement for keeping your warranty in force.
For more tips, or to schedule your air conditioner maintenance, contact Indoor Air Quality, Inc., today. We proudly serve the Highlands Ranch/Denver Metro Area.