During the summer, many homeowners experience a spike in their energy bill due to the air conditioner running constantly. You can put an oscillating fan in the room or even a window fan, but neither of these will help much on the hottest day of the year. The only way to stay cool is to keep your AC running, despite the high energy cost.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can save on your energy costs, whether you have a split system, packaged central air, or a portable air conditioner. These tips are pretty simple, and they can save you money this summer.
Central Air Tips
The capacity of an air conditioner is measured by BTUs (British Thermal Units). BTUs are the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. Many people will buy a unit with low BTUs because they are cheaper; however, this can end up costing you more money in the long run. If your system isn’t powerful enough to cool your entire home, it will need to work twice as hard to reach the desired temperature, which will use more electricity than needed.
If you choose a unit that is too large for your home, you will waste money in a few ways. You will spend too much on the system, it will waste electricity due to its large size, and the unit won’t reach its maximum lifespan. Because the system is pumping out more cold air than necessary, it will turn on and off continuously, which will wear it out faster.
To be sure that your AC system is the right size for your home, measure the size of each room that you are going to cool. You should also note if the room is north or south facing. When you have this information, you can contact an AC professional to find out if your AC is the appropriate size.
Window Air Conditioner Tips
Many homeowners use portable air conditioners. Because there are only a few months of hot weather, many people choose these units because they can be stored away for the rest of the year. It is essential that you select a unit with enough BTUs to cool the entire room, but not too large that it will cool it too much.
Split Air Conditioner Tips
Where you place, the compressor/condenser is essential. You want to keep it in a shady area, with plenty of room around it. If there are plants and shrubs around the compressor, it can’t do its job properly. Finally, when you place the indoor evaporator, it should be located in the most central area of the room that you are cooling.
Portable Air Conditioner Tips
For these units to work correctly, the hot air needs to be exhausted out of the window. Make sure that your unit is not obstructed by window treatment or furniture. Where you put the thermostat is also a significant concern. If you put the thermostat on the wall near a window where the sun is shining in, the room will appear much warmer than it actually is. This will cause the unit to work harder than it needs to, which will increase your energy bill.
5 Ways To Create An Energy Efficient Home
You are going to need your air conditioner during the summer, but it doesn’t need to work at full capacity. If you prepare your home correctly, you can keep it cooler, which will cause your air conditioner to work less.
Tip 1: Keep the Sun Out
To reduce your summertime energy bills, you should try to keep the sun out during the day. Start by planting shrubs or bushes in front of the south-facing windows to block out the sun. Next, buy full-length curtains and keep them closed at the time of day when the sun shines the most brightly in your home. You can also consider installing awnings on the windows. It is best to choose a light-colored awing so that the sun will reflect off the awning rather than absorbing it. If you already have a dark-colored awning, repaint them a lighter color.
Tip 2: Seal All of the Leaks
The last thing that you want is for the cool air to escape from the home, so you should seal off all of the leaks in the house. You can add weather stripping to drafty doors and windows, and it will benefit you in the summer and the winter. Also, check the areas where the plumbing and electricity come into the home. If necessary, use caulking to seal it up. The same is true with your dryer vents. Finally, if there are any cracks in your chimney, have them sealed.
Tip 3: Use Your AC and Your Fans
It is a good idea to install energy-efficient ceiling fans. On days when it isn’t too hot outside, the fan can cool your house down. You can also use the fan with the AC. When the fan is on, you can increase the temperature on your AC by a few degrees, which will lower your energy costs. When a ceiling fan is running at the same time as your air conditioner, it will feel 10 degrees cooler in the home.
Tip 4: Check Your Attic Ventilation
According to experts like our contacts at the air conditioning Plano company of On the Spot, “30 percent of the heat in your home is absorbed by the roof. This is why you need to make sure that there is adequate ventilation in your attic.” Using ridge vents and attic fans can significantly reduce your energy costs. Considering that Plano summers are hot and winters are cold, you need to balance your AC and heating needs to keep your home comfortable all year long.
Tip 5: Avoid Generating Heat
The electrical appliances in your home generate heat. With many appliances on at the same time, it can cause your AC to work harder than it should. Make sure you turn off lights when you don’t need them, and turn off the computer when it isn’t being used. Run your dryer at night, when the temperature outdoors is cooler. Finally, on hot days, cook in the microwave or on the grill to prevent your kitchen from getting too hot.
Tip 6: Air Conditioner Maintenance
If your AC is going to cool your home as much as possible, you should have it cleaned and maintained once a year before the cooling season begins. Also, check your filters monthly during the summer. If the filters are dirty, the air conditioner will need to work harder to keep your home cool. Proper maintenance will not only help save on your energy bills, but it will also extend the lifespan of your air conditioning system.
When the temperature heats up in, it doesn’t mean that you have to go broke trying to afford your energy bills. If you follow the simple tips listed above, you will notice a drop in your next bill. Best of all, some of these tips are just as useful in saving on your heating bill during the winter.