5 ways to save money on cooling costs this spring and summer
As the temperature begins to steadily rise to warmer levels, more and more families will be looking toward their air conditioners to provide a little more comfort. In just a couple more months, the thermostat will really get a workout as people look for relief from the heat.
Hopefully you have had your home’s A/C unit serviced and know that it will kick on right away when you need it. If so, then your next focus - like many others - will shift toward how you can save money on utility bills. That’s because, as a country, we spend a ton of money on cooling our homes - $29 billion every year, to be exact.
And, since everyone appreciates ways to save money and cut back on bills, here are ways that you can save money on cooling costs this spring and summer.
1. Conduct an home energy audit
Before you focus your attention on your air conditioning unit, consider having a home energy audit conducted on your house. This can help you understand how your home uses energy, where it may be losing energy and what problems you can fix to improve efficiency and performance.
Typically, a home energy audit involves consulting a professional who may use special equipment to go room-to-room and identify your house’s specific energy use strengths and weaknesses.
However, it is possible to conduct a home energy audit yourself. Check the condition of your entire cooling system. Do you need to consider a repair or replacement? After that, check for places air can leak out - windows, attic doors, poorly insulated areas, etc. Then, research how best to fix those issues.
2. Use windows wisely
If used the right way, windows can help give your air conditioner a break. For those who live in areas that cool off quite a bit in the evening and throughout the night, turn off your A/C and open your windows. Keep them open throughout the night when you can.
Once you get up in the morning, shut the windows. You will have a house full of cooler air. Shut your blinds, too, to keep the sunlight from heating up the air inside your home.
You can also put in window coverings to further prevent the air in your home from heating up throughout the day.
These steps can go a long way toward improving your home’s energy efficiency - and require you to use your A/C less, too.
3. Know how to control your thermostat
Don’t just keep your thermostat cranked to the coolest temp. Find your comfort zone and set your thermostat accordingly. Try to find the highest possible temperature at which you and your family are still comfortable.
When you are away from the house, bump your thermostat at a warmer than normal level. If you have a programmable thermostat, then you can set the temp to a higher level during working hours.
Also, you may think you need to set your thermostat at a low level to cool your home faster. That’s not how it works. You will just end up making your air conditioner work even harder for longer.
Know your comfort zone and aim for that temperature.
4. Use fans and vent properly
Did you know that you can turn on a ceiling fan and raise your thermostat by about four degrees and not feel any less comfortable? Ceiling fans can really help homeowners save a bunch on cooling bills.
The US Department of Energy has several tips for homeowners who want to increase their comfort with ceiling fans and use less energy. Most importantly, fans cool people - they don’t cool rooms. This is because they create a wind chill effect. So, when you are not in a room, turn fans off. This will help keep energy costs even lower.
Other ventilation strategies can also help you keep cool without relying soley on the A/C. If you take a shower or a bath, use the bathroom fan to decrease heat and humidity that can spread to the rest of your home. Your bathroom fan will be most effective if it is vented to the outside, not the attic.
A similar fan setup could help you keep your laundry area cooler.
5. Don’t let appliances and lighting increase room temp
On some days, simply using household appliances or having too many lights on can combat home cooling efforts and make your air conditioning system work even harder.
Try not to use the oven on especially hot days. Instead, cook on the stove top, use the microwave or grill outside - ‘tis the season, anyway!
You should also invest in energy-efficient lighting, which runs cooler than incandescent lights. During the day, you can also minimize your use of lighting by relying on natural sunlight.
Other tips recommended by the Department of Energy include washing only full loads of clothes, air drying clothes and dishes, shorten the length of showers and baths and minimize using anything that increases heat, such as a computer, dishwasher, hair dryers, etc.
Bonus tip: Lower your water heating costs, too
About 18% of the energy your home consumes is to heat water. You can lower the amount of energy your water heater uses by decreasing the temperature to its warm setting, or 120 degrees.
This will help you save energy and, if you are going to use hot water, prevent the heat and humidity from building us as much.
Your air conditioner will thank you and your water heater for a little bit of extra help this spring and summer.
Contact Comfortec for your cooling needs
Whether it’s for a service call, to request a quote or for emergency service, Comfortec can be counted on to provide quality, professional and friendly service for your home comfort needs.
Our team is comprised of experts in the heating and cooling field. Contact us today and we will help you get your air conditioning unit operating as efficiently as possible.
We are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week - because we know cooling problems rarely happen at ideal times.
Give us a call at 888-362-2106 and we’ll solve your home cooling issues.
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