As the summer months approach and temperatures rise, finding ways to reduce air conditioning costs becomes a priority for many households. In this blog post, we will discuss several tips on how to lower cooling costs, starting from the easiest and cheapest methods, to more advanced and potentially expensive solutions. Stay cool and save money on air conditioning with these practical and effective strategies.
9 Ways to Reduce Air Conditioning Costs
When you want to stay cool and comfortable but don’t want to break the bank, here’s where to start:
Adjust Your Thermostat
One of the simplest ways to save money on air conditioning is to adjust your thermostat settings. You may wonder, “What temperature should I keep my AC on to save money?” The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78°F (25.5°C) while you are at home and slightly higher when you are away. By raising the temperature, you can reduce air conditioning costs by 3-5% for every degree above 72°F (22°C).
Using fans is an energy-efficient way to keep your living space cool without relying solely on your air conditioning system. Ceiling fans can help circulate cool air throughout the room, allowing you to raise the thermostat temperature by a few degrees without sacrificing comfort. Remember to turn off fans when you leave the room, as they cool people, not spaces.
Block Out the Sun with Window Treatments
Direct sunlight can significantly heat up your home, causing your air conditioner to work harder and consume more electricity. To reduce air conditioning costs, close blinds, and curtains during the hottest part of the day, especially on windows facing east and west.
Consider investing in energy-efficient window treatments, such as thermal-backed drapes or reflective blinds, to block out the sun more effectively.
Plant Shade-Giving Trees and Plants
Strategically planting trees, shrubs, and vines around your home can provide shade and reduce air conditioning costs. Deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in winter, are ideal for providing shade during summer months while allowing sunlight to warm your home during colder months.
Plant shade-giving trees and plants on the east and west sides of your home to block the sun’s rays when they are strongest.
Limit Heat-Generating Appliances
Using heat-generating appliances like ovens and stovetops can increase the temperature in your home, making your air conditioner work harder. To reduce cooling demands, try cooking with a slow cooker, microwave, or grill instead.
Additionally, run your dishwasher and clothes dryer during cooler parts of the day or evening to minimize their impact on your air conditioner’s workload.
Seal Your Home
Air leaks around doors, windows, and other openings can cause your air conditioner to work overtime, leading to higher energy bills. Inspect your home for gaps and cracks, then seal them with weatherstripping, caulking, or foam sealant.
Sealing your home not only helps reduce air conditioning costs but also keeps your home more comfortable year-round.
Regular maintenance of your air conditioning system is crucial to ensure it runs efficiently. Replace or clean air filters monthly during peak usage months, as dirty filters can restrict airflow and make your system work harder.
Additionally, have your air conditioner inspected and serviced by a professional annually to keep it in optimal condition.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Investing in a programmable thermostat can help you save money on air conditioning by automatically adjusting the temperature according to your schedule. This way, you can avoid cooling an empty house and focus on maintaining a comfortable temperature when you’re home.
Smart thermostats also offer additional features, such as remote control and energy usage tracking, to help you further reduce air conditioning costs.
Upgrade Your AC System
If you have an older air conditioning system, it may be less energy-efficient than newer models. Upgrading to a more efficient system can significantly reduce air conditioning costs over time. Look for models with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating, as these will be more energy-efficient. Additionally, consider choosing an appropriately sized air conditioner for your space to avoid overcooling and increased energy consumption.
Reducing air conditioning costs during the summer months doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a combination of smart habits, home improvements, and regular maintenance, you can keep your living space comfortable without breaking the bank. If you need assistance with air conditioner installation, repairs, or maintenance, trust Dependable Heating & Air for professional AC installation and repair service. Stay cool this summer and keep your energy costs under control with these helpful tips.