Regardless of whether you own or rent where you live, you’ve probably noticed that your energy costs increase during the summer — quite possibly because your air conditioning system is running so much. You need to run your AC to keep your family cool, and sacrificing their comfort by NOT running it is likely not an option. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few easy tips for reducing your home’s cooling costs — without making your family suffer in a hot, humid home this season.
Tip #1: Be mindful of when your curtains and blinds are open.
While you may enjoy the view of your front porch or yard during the day, leaving your windows un-covered can let in a lot of sunlight — and heat! The sun’s hot rays beaming in your windows will raise the temperature inside your home by several degrees and, in turn, could cause your AC to work harder than necessary to meet your cooling needs.
You don’t have to leave your blinds closed permanently during the summer months. Just be sure you are limiting the amount of time the windows are uncovered during the hottest parts of the day, or when the sun may be shining directly into them. Additionally, if you have rooms in your home that are unused, such as a spare bedroom, you could leave the curtains closed in these spaces to help keep things cool.
Tip #2: Use your ceiling fan.
During warmer months, have ceiling fan blades spinning counterclockwise. When the fan’s blades are spinning in this direction, they’re able to push air back down. If your air conditioner is also running, the ceiling fan will help keep cool air circulating back down on your family. In turn, this could keep you cool longer, so that your AC doesn’t need to run constantly for your comfort.
Also, if you have a ceiling fan installed in your bedroom, consider using it alone to keep cool, instead of also having the air conditioner running all night.
Temperatures naturally decrease once the sun sets, and your family may be comfortable with just the fan running. This could also help you save on your energy bills since you wouldn’t be operating the cooling system for a significant portion of the day.
Tip #3: Don’t forget AC maintenance!
If you haven’t already done so this season, schedule an AC maintenance appointment. An HVAC professional will thoroughly inspect all components of your unit to be sure everything is clear of dust build-up and operating as efficiently as possible. A clean, efficient AC is one that doesn’t have to work overtime to keep your family cool. In turn, this could help you save money on your energy bills.
Another perk of scheduling maintenance is that the skilled and knowledgeable technician sent to your home may be able to detect potential problems before they result in a breakdown of your unit. He or she will likely be able to help you with getting the system repaired so your family doesn’t have to suffer in a hot, humid home due to an untimely breakdown.
Additionally, replace your air filter regularly. The general rule is to replace the filter at least once a month during peak cooling season, more often if you have individuals who smoke or pets in your home. If you aren’t sure what size or MERV-rating you need for the replacement, check your system’s owner’s manual for guidance.
Tip #4: Use a programmable thermostat.
When you have a programmable or smart thermostat installed, you can set it to maintain a warmer temperature inside your home when your family won’t be there to enjoy the cool comfort provided by your AC. You can also schedule it to begin cooling the home again before your family plans to return home for the evening. Raising the temperature setting in your home by just a few degrees each day during the summer could help you to save on your energy bills each month.
Tip #5: Only use your oven and/or cooktop when necessary.
Preparing meals with hot kitchen appliances will raise the temperature inside your home, causing your air conditioner to work overtime to keep your family cool. This could lead to higher energy bills, especially if you’re preparing 2-3 meals a day using these appliances. Instead, consider using your outdoor grill for cooking meals, or you could choose to eat lighter meals, such as sandwiches or salads.
If you absolutely must use your oven or cooktop, try to use them early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature outside isn’t at its highest for the day.
Want extra help with your AC?
In addition to providing energy and money-saving tips, we can also provide homeowners with affordable Cooling Repair and Cooling Maintenance plans to help you keep your system running its best all season long. Call us at 888-801-5057 for more information and to speak with a friendly, knowledgeable customer service representative who will be able to address any questions or concerns you may have about our protection plans available in your area.