Introduction – Save Money on Your Air Conditioning Bill
Peak summer heat isn’t cheap. In fact, many Americans pay more for their air conditioning in the summer than they do for their heating in the winter.
This is especially true if you live in an older home and cannot install central AC or have unshaded windows letting the sun stream in all day long.
Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to reduce your cooling costs this summer without breaking the bank.
Change your filters regularly
AC filters are designed to catch dirt and other airborne particles, but over time, they get clogged and are less effective. If your AC’s filter is not functioning properly, you may notice a reduction in airflow as well as an increase in the sound of the fan running.
This may cause your AC to work harder and will likely increase your energy bills. To avoid this, make sure you change your filters every 3 months (or more frequently, depending on your environment and how dirty your house is).
This can save you up to 10% on your cooling costs. If you have central air, it is recommended that you change your filters on the outside unit once a year. This will not only help you avoid costly repairs, but it will also improve the quality of your indoor air by removing any allergens or other particles that may be circulating through your home.
Install ceiling fans
Ceiling fans are a great way to cool your home by increasing airflow and reducing the amount of time your AC is turned on. When installing fans in the summer, remember to flip the switch to turn them into a “reversing” fan.
This will push hot air near the ceiling down towards the floor. The higher the blades on the fan, the more airflow you can create by pushing the hot air toward the floor. Most fans have a low-speed setting that will create a more gentle breeze than a high-speed setting.
To save even more money, look for Energy Star Rated fans that use less energy.
Turn off the A/C when you’re away
If you are away from the house for a few hours, it is probably not worth it to keep the AC on if the house is already cooled down. This can save you up to 10%-20% on your cooling costs. Of course, it is important to make sure that your home is properly closed up when you leave to avoid unnecessary heat gain.
Consider investing in a programmable thermostat so you can program it to turn off the AC while you are gone. However, if you have pets or small children in the house, this may not be the best option as they may become too cold.
Install solar screens and window tinting
Solar screens are designed to block out sunlight and reduce the amount of heat that enters your home. They can reduce energy bills by up to 30% and can last up to 20 years. They are a great way to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home without blocking out too much natural light.
Window tinting can also reduce the amount of heat entering your home, especially on south-facing windows. It can reduce the amount of sunlight by up to 80%, which can really reduce cooling costs. While window tinting costs around $50 per window, it can save you up to 20% on your AC bills.
Lighten up your home for summer
Curtains and furniture that are very heavy are going to trap in heat when the weather gets warm. This can make your AC work harder to keep your home cool. Look for lighter-colored fabrics and lighter-weight fabrics to reduce the amount of heat trapped in your home.
Also, open up the windows to let in the fresh air. This will not only keep your home feeling more spacious, but it will also help to keep your AC bills low.
Get an energy audit before investing in AC repairs
Even though AC repairs can be expensive, they may be necessary if you have an older AC unit. Instead of immediately replacing your unit, consider getting an energy audit to see if it can be repaired.
If your AC unit can be repaired, it will likely save you much more money than replacing your unit. Additionally, many states and cities have programs that will reimburse you for the costs of repairing your AC, so be sure to check with your local officials for more information.
Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, but it can also be a challenge to stay cool in your home. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to reduce your cooling costs without breaking the bank.
Start by changing your filters regularly, installing ceiling fans, turning off the A/C when you’re away, and getting an energy audit before investing in AC repairs. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the summer while keeping your cooling costs low.
AC repairs are never fun, but the best way to handle them is to plan ahead. By following these 5 tips, you can reduce your cooling costs during the summer without breaking the bank. Now that you know how to save money on your AC bill, you don’t have to sweat the summer heat!