Having a place to take respite from the heat is an essential part of living well, especially as summer temperatures rise. Although your air conditioning unit provides cool, comfortable temperatures in your home, it can also cause a significant rise in your electricity bill. We’ve put together a list to help you use your AC unit economically. Stay cool, save energy, and cut
your electricity costs this summer!
1. Make your Air Conditioner More Energy Efficient – Clean and Change Your Air Filters
Filters keep your AC unit running smoothly. A clean, well-functioning filter will provide good air circulation and prevent dust and debris from blocking your vents. When the air filter is
dirty or clogged, it obstructs the air flow and the system has to work harder to push air out into your home. Ultimately, this means your air conditioner will be using an excessive
amount of power to compensate for the restricted air flow. On top of this, failing to change
the filter regularly can lead to mold build up, contaminating the air. Changing your filters regularly will not only reduce air conditioner energy usage, it can also extend the lifespan of your AC unit up to 15 or 20 years. It’s a good idea to clean permanent filters, or change disposable ones every few months, possibly more if you have children or pets.
2. Use Ceiling Fans at the Same Time as Your Air Conditioner
Do you think that running the AC means you don’t need to use fans anymore? Think again. Making use of fans with your air conditioning unit will help you spend the least amount of money possible on your energy consumption this summer. Naturally, cool air will settle, as opposed to circulating. Using existing ceiling fans, or installing them throughout the house, will take the burden off your air conditioning system and disperse cool air through your space in a much more efficient way. As an additional hack, check if your ceiling fans have a ‘summer mode’, and run them counter clockwise to distribute the air more effectively.
3. Reduce your AC’s Energy Consumption – Install a Programmable Thermostat
Make your air conditioner more energy efficient by setting it to run only when it’s needed, and ensuring the temperature is set appropriately at all times. Using a thermostat with a programmable schedule will allow you to cut energy usage while you’re away or asleep. Designed with energy saving in mind, some programmable thermostats come with an app that will allow you to adjust the temperature when you’re away from home. The temperature you set on your thermostat will correspond to the overall temperature of your home compared to the outdoors (not to the actual temperature of the air blowing out). Keeping this in mind and using ceiling fans to circulate cool air can help you choose an energy-efficient temperature that is still comfortable. Some experts recommend turning the temperature up one degree, so the AC will run less frequently and use less power. Using this technique with a programmable thermostat can reduce annual energy costs by up to 10%!
4. Avoid Direct Sunlight and Insulate Your Space to Keep Cool Air In
Sunlight streaming in through the windows will increase the temperature of your home, thereby causing your AC unit to run more frequently and increase your energy costs. Little things add up, and you can reduce AC power consumption with energy efficient windows, dark-window treatments, or reflective roof materials that help to ward off some of the sun’s heat. Planting trees to create natural shade or black-out blinds can also go a long way. Another important factor in using your air conditioner economically is insulation. Ensure windows, attics, walls, and crawl spaces are effectively sealed to keep cool air in and warm air out. Depending on the age of your home, having a professional come to check the insulation of your pipes, ducts, and outlets could be a worthy investment to increase energy efficiency over time.
5. Reduce Air Conditioner Energy Usage – Schedule Regular Maintenance
Although it may seem to increase your costs in the short term, scheduling regular AC maintenance will save you money in the long run. Regular maintenance allows you to identify potential problems in advance and avoid costly repairs. Cleaning the components, fixing electrical connections, and addressing anything that needs updating from general wear and tear will keep your system running at its maximum efficiency and minimize your electrical costs. Studies show that regular air conditioning maintenance can help your unit maintain 95% of its original efficiency.
We hope these tips help you save energy and cut air conditioning costs this summer. If you’re looking for support with installation, inspection, or AC maintenance, call the experts at Ashton!
We’re here to help with all your cooling needs this summer.