Posted: 6 August 2018
In the heat of the summer, your air-conditioner could be running full time. Home air conditioning costs cause electric bills to skyrocket this time of year.
Excessive air conditioner use could be contributing to that increase in your bills.
Depending on where you live, you could see as much as a 9-12% increase in your summer electric bills.
But there are things you can do to help reduce your costs. Check out these 7 simple ways to cut down on home air conditioning costs.
1. Feel a Little Heat
One of the simplest things you can do is to turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees.
The Department of Energy estimates you can save as much as 10% on annual energy costs by setting your thermostat 7?-10? degrees higher or lower than the optimal setting.
During the summer, keep your house warmer when you are away. For the best air-conditioning efficiency, the recommended temperature is 78?F.
You might feel like you can’t bear to let it get any hotter in the house. But, you can either feel more heat in your home, or in your wallet.
2. Be a Fan of Fans
“Feeling” cooler is often a simple matter of moving the air around you.
While fans don’t provide any cooling, they can help you feel cooler. They also require less energy than your air-conditioning unit.
Add a ceiling fan to your room to enhance the cooling coming from your air-conditioner. A floor fan that oscillates also helps a room feel cooler.
Be sure to turn off the fan when you’re not using the room to keeping saving those cooling costs.
3. Seal it Up
Since you’re paying for cooler air, it’s best to keep it in your house.
Keep windows and doors closed. This can be tough when you have kids going in and out all day during the summer. But teaching them to close the door behind them will help keep your cool air inside where it belongs.
Be sure to seal around all doors, windows, and any other openings into your house. Take a walk around your home before the temps get too hot. Make a note of any cracks or openings that you see.
Caulking materials are inexpensive and simple to do. Any home improvement store will have what you need to make sure your home is sealed.
4. Dark is Cool
As much as we love sunlight and long summer days, letting the sun stream into your home also heats your home.
If you need the natural light, open blinds and shades in the early morning and early evening when the temperatures are cooler outside. In the heat of the day, close blinds and window shades.
Consider one exception to the darkness: when choosing the color of your shades, keep them light. Lighter colors reflect heat while darker colors tend to absorb heat.
5. No Filthy Filters
It is important to monitor your air conditioning filters. A clogged or dirty filter will force your air conditioner to work harder to circulate air through the system.
Filters are simple to replace. Costs of replacement filters range depending on the size of the filter and the quality.
- The size of your cooling system determines the size of the filter you need.
- Depending on your air-quality needs, determine the type of filter you need. Filters with higher MERV ratings clean more contaminants out of the air.
Filters should be replaced regularly. Make a note each time you replace your filter and remember to check them throughout the year.
Most filters last between 3-6 months before they become too dirty to clean the air well.
6. Professionally Maintain your System
A cooling system that isn’t running efficiently can’t properly cool your house.
In order to get the best efficiency from your cooling system, both the indoor and outdoor units must be clean, free from buildup and debris, and working well.
On an annual basis, have a professional air conditioning service take a look at your air conditioner.
It’s tempting to neglect this service to your cooling system. But the small cost of having a professional check for problems and perform preventative maintenance is far less than the cost of replacing a broken system in the middle of the summer.
You’ll want an efficient system to save money on electric bills during the summer.
These services check everything about your system, including air conditioning parts. They also clean the units and let you know if any repairs are necessary to keep your air conditioning running well.
Be sure to do your homework and choose a company that provides the best ac repair should your unit need a fix.
7. Upgrade or Replace
It’s a difficult and expensive decision to decide on a cooling system upgrade or to replace the whole thing.
But chances are, if you are still working that 1980s system through another hot summer, you are wasting money on high electric bills.
Think of a new system as a long-term investment. Spend more on a better system now to save money on your cooling costs for years to come.
Shop around to find the best prices and the best service. You’ll save money on your system if you replace it on your terms, rather than in the heat of the summer when it breaks and it becomes an emergency replacement.
Be conservative. Air conditioning units come in a variety of sizes, and bigger isn’t always better. Find an expert who will sell you the right size unit for your home.
You Can Improve Home Air Conditioning Costs
With a little work, you can improve your home air conditioning costs.
You’ll know if it’s time to take a deep breath and invest in a new system. Often, a few tweaks to your day-to-day habits can make a big difference in your energy costs.
If saving money is important but the costs of a new air conditioning unit aren’t in your budget, we know a few more money-saving tips that can help.