Five Cool Tips to Save on Air Conditioning Costs

Save on energy billAs we move into the heart of summer, the hotter days can put you in a wrenching struggle from the instant gratification of cranking the air conditioning up to the cold reality that hits you in the face when the monthly energy bill comes around.

To avoid the roller coaster of cold blasts of air inevitably followed by a cold financial reality, you need to cut down the amount of work your air conditioning system is doing. Following some simple steps will help.

Change Your Filters

You should know the first step by now for saving on air conditioning costs, but if you’re late getting this done, what are you waiting for? Change your air filters regularly. Just changing the filter in your ventilation system or air conditioning unit in spring may be all you need. But check it regularly. If it’s gets clogged during the season, you’re making your air conditioning work overtime. Clogged, dirty filters impede or block airflow. Keeping a clean filter in the system can reduce your electric bill by 10 percent.

Turn it Down, Not Off

The website Houselogic notes that setting an air conditioner at 70 degrees can cost twice as much to run as setting it at 78 degrees. If you raise your thermostat by at least 2 degrees above its normal setting, you’ll see significant savings.

If you leave the house for several hours, raise the thermostat to 80 degrees. You’ll save plenty during the time you’re not there. But don’t turn your air conditioning off when you’re gone. Dropping the temperature from 80 degrees back to 74 or 72 degrees is a pretty reasonable job for the AC, but if you leave the air conditioner off on a 90 degree or higher day, the air condition has to work extra hard to get your indoor temperatures back down, driving up energy use. Keeping the thermostat at 80 degrees in a vacant house is a more energy efficient

Be Active about Passive Solar

Do you want to reduce your energy costs by as much as 30 percent on those hot, sunny summer days? Draw the shades and stop the sun from heating your home. If you keep your drapes and shades closed during the day, as well as the windows, you stop sunlight from raising the heat that your air conditioner has to work to cool back down. You can go further to protect against the afternoon sun by adding exterior solar shades and thermal-backed drapes.

Be Cool; Fan the Heat

A breeze always makes you feel a bit cooler, but opening a window to bring in a breeze to carry in outside air that’s 20 degrees hotter than inside your home will hardly do the trick. The breeze that comes from a ceiling fan, however, recirculates interior air and can make you feel 8 degrees cooler.

But don’t leave the fan on when you leave home. That 8 degree drop is just an illusion, the summer equivalent of winter’s wind chill index. The feeling of coolness comes from moving air across your skin, but the temperature remains the same. If there’s no one there to feel the breeze, you’re just using up electricity.

Cook More, Bake Less

If you love to bake, you might want to give your baking skills a break during hot spells and just cook on the stovetop instead. Stove burners give off less heat into the kitchen and surrounding area than an oven, meaning your air conditioner has to work overtime instead.

If you really want to cut down on the heat from food preparation, have a salad for dinner instead.

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning, HVAC and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.