With the hot summer kicking in, everyone would prefer to adjust the thermostat to match the rising temperatures. Switching from heating to cooling will cool your home down, but your utility bills can skyrocket. There are many ways to get creative regarding keeping cool and saving money. Learning how to save money on air conditioning can help you stay cool, both physically and financially.
If you’re serious about cutting your electricity bill this summer, it’s time to discuss ways to cool your home on a budget. Let’s look at the best tips and tricks to try this season.
1. Use fans
This tip may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s an underrated trick that can provide an alternative or additional way to keep your home cool without relying on air conditioning. Switching on your fans is a great way to keep your home cool when the day is uncomfortably warm but not hot enough to switch on your air conditioner.
Also, use ceiling fans. Turn them on to the upper levels of your house and open your windows in the lower levels. With the ceiling fan running, you can raise the thermostat setting by about 4 degrees without sacrificing comfort. However, one reminder about fans is that they should always be turned off when no one is in the room. Keeping your fans working in empty spaces is an extreme waste of time.
2. Use blinds, curtains, and plants to keep the heat out
Light from the sun transfers heat energy. Close the blinds and curtains during the day to keep the hot temperature out of your home. Light-colored blinds and curtains reflect sunlight and prevent your home from absorbing unwanted heat.
Further, you can plant more trees for a long-term solution. Most of the heat that builds up in your home comes from the sun shining through your windows or hitting your home directly, so one of the most efficient ways to limit this heat build-up is to block the sun shining directly at your house.
3. Schedule for AC maintenance
Despite your best efforts, your air conditioner sometimes needs to improve its best condition. Perhaps it broke from a malfunction or was worn out from years of loyal service. No matter the circumstances, some air conditioners need to be repaired or, worst, replaced.
Remember, inefficient air conditioners increase cooling costs. Regular maintenance is important for air conditioners. For starters, you can check the filter for cleaning every month or twice during summertime. A clogged or dirty filter congests airflow and reduces the unit’s efficiency. Also, ask for a certified HVAC service technician to check your ACs.
4. Go with a Smart Thermostat
Another way to keep your air conditioner running with savings in mind is to install a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat can control your home’s temperature on your schedule and even be accessed from your mobile phone. Smart HVAC systems save energy, reduce waste, and maintain a comfortable, cool environment through automation.
If you have a mini-split, window, portable air conditioner, or smart central air conditioner thermostat, investing in a smart air conditioner controller can save you up to 25% on your utility bills.
5. Check for air leaks
Inspect the inside and out of your home for gaps, cracks, or openings allowing air to enter or exit. Windows and doors are the obvious places, but there are many other places where leaks can occur, including foundations with exterior bricks or siding.
For a thorough inspection of your house, hire a professional engineer to conduct an energy audit. Experts can spot invisible energy-inefficient leaks and tell you where more insulation is needed.
6. Choose the right location for your AC and thermostat
Location plays an important role when installing an air conditioner. Ensure the AC condenser is in the shade and has enough space to dissipate the heat. If your air conditioner is in direct sunlight, it is recommended to change its location as soon as possible or hide it in the shade to save cooling costs during summer.
If you mount your thermostat on an exterior wall, especially right next to a window, the thermostat will read heat from the window and perceive the room to be warmer than it is. Also, do not put a thermostat in a rarely used space.
7. Choose outdoor light paint
The color of the exterior of your home affects the temperature inside. Dull, dark colors end up absorbing 70-90% of sunlight. This absorbed energy has a large effect on indoor temperature. On the contrary, bright colors help reflect heat.
8. Reduce heat-producing chores
Some things add extra warmth to your home, such as cooking on a stove or using an oven. Consider using them only on cool nights. Also, consider building an outdoor kitchen. It still uses energy, but the air conditioner will only work a little.
9. Unplug unused electronic devices
Electronic appliances and other electronic devices have become integral to our daily lives. These devices not only consume power but also generate heat. The heat generated can raise your home’s temperature and increase your air conditioners use. These devices trickle out a heating current when they are not in use. This current also raises the temperature of the house. Unplugging these devices when not in use is highly recommended to keep the temperature as low as possible.
10. Get professional service once a year
Your air conditioner may start to malfunction without you even realizing it. The inner workings may be clogged or broken, and your devices have to work extra and consume extra energy to keep your home comfortable. You could lose money this way without noticing that something is wrong.
Perform regular maintenance on your air conditioner. Change your AC filter monthly during the cooling season and have the system serviced by a professional at the beginning of each cooling season.
It is undeniably hard to balance the comfort of your home with rising electricity bills. While it is overwhelming to take proactive measures to keep the bills within the budget, the mentioned handy and easy-to-do air-conditioning saving tips will ensure better energy savings. Keep your cool and beat the heat.