Home electricity expenditures have been rising significantly in recent years. Homeowners are taking it upon themselves by cutting down electricity usage. Meanwhile, some hire professional technicians to repair and maintain their appliances, from cleaning the dryer vent and repairing HVAC units to buying energy-efficient appliances.
But as summer days get hotter, it’s difficult to sacrifice your own comfort if you can always turn to your air conditioner to stay cool. In this article, we’ll list down ways to reduce the AC costs while keeping you cool and comfortable throughout the summer months.
Keep up with the maintenance task
Like any appliance, regular maintenance is important for your air-conditioning system to function well. But cleaning the AC can be challenging if you don’t have the right skills for it. The last thing you want is to incur more damage when you just want to clean it.
Experts say if you don’t trust your skills, don’t touch anything. The only part to maintain in your AC is the air filter and give the rest to a professional HVAC repairer. Replacing the air filter regularly is the best way to keep your unit running most effectively. As a general rule, you should replace the air filters at least every two to three months. But if you’re using the AC more frequently, maintenance requires frequent attention, especially if you’re living with pets or in a dust-filled environment.
Annual maintenance done by a professional will also keep your AC running efficiently. Regular tune-ups are necessary to help the unit extend its lifespan and run more smoothly. The maintenance process involves deep cleaning, filter check, and system check.
Use a ceiling fan
Ceiling fans allow indoor air to effectively circulate the house, taking the burden off the AC system. They make rooms feel fresher even if the air temperature is warmer than usual.
Most people think that installing more fans will only incur more electricity. The truth is that they actually help by keeping the AC costs down.
If possible, install ceiling fans on your home’s upper level while keeping the windows open on the lower level. For those living in a one-story house, close the windows near the fan but keep the others open far from the fan to circulate fresh air inside the house.
The process works through evaporation cooling, a natural ability of the body to reduce body heat. Moving air allows sweat to evaporate from the skin, increasing the cooling effect on our bodies. A great tip is to increase the thermostat level by four degrees without losing comfort.
Seal off leaks
A drafty home results in skyrocketing electric bills. Cracks and openings on doors and windows allow air to come in and out of the house whenever it pleases.
Start by performing a visual inspection inside and outside the house for cracks, openings, and gaps. Windows and doors are the most common places to check for air leaks, including the brick or siding that meets the home’s foundation. Other common sources of leaks include air ducts, outlets, switches, dropped ceilings, attic entrances, utility access, and furnace flues.
These little entrances may be small, but they’re actually doing more harm by making the cooling units work overtime. Air leaks force the AC unit to work harder to cool the room during summer and maintain the desired temperature during winter. Sealing those leaks will prevent the air from seeping in and out of the gaps, reducing the need to crank up the AC, thus saving more energy!
For a detailed assessment of your house, consider hiring a service technician to conduct an energy audit and detect energy-inefficient leaks.
Get a smart thermostat
Smart technology comes with smart features that significantly reduce home energy use. One of the most popular smart appliances is a smart thermostat that allows you to schedule AC use and set triggers to maintain the room climate. Once it reaches the desired temperature, the AC will automatically switch off, saving electricity in the process.
Most homeowners have a bad habit of forgetting to adjust the thermostat during warm weather. They simply adjust the unit to the minimum possible temperature and leave it the whole day. Investing in a programmable thermostat will cut energy usage by adjusting the temperature on its own. You can even modify the temperature level even in a remote location by using an application.
The suggestions above prove that shaving dollars off your utility bills is possible without throwing comfort away as long as you know how to make the right cuts. After all, your bills should never take a huge chunk of your finances.