Most homeowners spend hundreds of dollars each summer to keep their homes cool. You can save money by being proactive about reducing cooling costs. Additionally, simple air conditioning maintenance can reduce your cooling costs and keep your HVAC system running more efficiently for years.
Use these tips to help you cut cooling costs this summer.
1. Use the Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans are a great way to circulate air in your home and reduce the amount of energy your air conditioner uses. However, only use ceiling fans when you are in the room. Otherwise, you are simply wasting electricity. Most ceiling fans don’t produce cool air, which means that leaving them running won’t help cool your home.
During the summer, you want your fan to spin counterclockwise. That direction sends a stream of cool- feeling air downwards, helping people below the fan feel more comfortable.
Most fans have a switch that allows you to change the direction that your fan blows air. The switch is often located between the fan blade and the light. Only change the direction switch when the fan is powered off.
2. Replace Your Air Conditioner’s Filters
Air conditioners that operate with clean air filters typically use nearly 15% less energy than those with dirty filters. If you use your air conditioning frequently in the summer, replace the air filters at least once each month. Your air conditioner may have reusable filters that you can clean yourself.
Before buying a new set of filters, look at the type of filters your air conditioner uses. You can also contact an HVAC repair company to help you determine which type of filters you should buy.
3. Close Blinds and Drapes
Many people enjoy sunlight streaming into their homes during the summer. However, this sunlight brings in heat that can cause your air conditioner to work even harder to cool your home.
Unless you are currently enjoying the sun, keep your drapes or blinds closed. Windows on the west and south sides of your home usually will receive more sunlight throughout the day, so try and keep the blinds and drapes on these windows closed as much as possible.
4. Set Your Thermostat to a Comfortable Temperature
You can save about 1% on your annual cooling bill every time you raise the temperature one degree for eight hours. Take advantage of that saving opportunity-keep your home at a temperature that is cool enough to stay comfortable, but not too cold.
A great way to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home is by installing a programmable thermostat. These thermostats change the temperature based on the time of day so that you don’t end up running the air conditioner when you’re not home.
5. Seal Ductwork and Entryways
Air conditioners work twice as hard if there are leaks in ductwork or cracks in a home’s entryways. If you suspect a leak in your ductwork, call a professional HVAC technician to seal any openings.
Additionally, cracks in doorways and windows can also allow cool air to leave your home. Use caulking to fill in gaps on entry points in your home to keep the cool air from escaping. If you can limit the cool air that escapes your home, you can save both energy and money.
6. Call a Professional to Inspect Your AC System
You should ask a service technician to inspect your air conditioner at least once each year. The service technician will usually disassemble parts of the unit and ensure there are no damages to your system. Technicians also usually clean parts of the unit to help the system run more efficiently.
Try these tips to save money on your utility bill and stay cool this summer. Check out our other blogs for more HVAC tips and tricks.