10 Cool Ways to Keep Your A/C Costs Down
1. Clean Your Filters: Make sure to clean or replace all air filters in your A/C system once a month or as recommended. Clean air filters can reduce your energy usage by as much as 5-15%.
2. Keep it Moving: Running fans in the home, especially on the second floor, can help to keep the air circulating in the home. Perhaps more importantly, it can also improve the comfort level by helping to evaporate any sweat from your skin. The moving air should allow you to raise the temperature on your thermostat to save you energy.
3. Slow it Down: Newer high-efficiency equipment has the ability to operate its fan at different speeds. The fan in your air conditioning unit should be set to run as slow as possible. This will allow the most moisture to be removed from the air and therefore significantly improve the comfort level.
4. Spring Cleaning: Ensure that there are no plants or other objects that could block or reduce the air flow to any outdoor units.
5. Time for a Tune-Up: Making sure all preventative maintenance is performed on your A/C system will ensure that it is performing at maximum efficiency and minimum cost.
6. Create some shade: The largest heat source for any house comes from the sun shining through windows and heating up the inside of a house. Planting trees such that they block direct sunlight through windows, especially during the midday hours, can help reduce the amount of unnecessary heat entering the house and provide a nice view.
7. Keep the Bugs and UV Rays Out: Installing solar screens on windows can help by intercepting a significant amount of solar energy that would have entered through that window. It also makes for a good barrier against any unwanted guests if the windows are opened.
8. Get Low: Due to the natural heat dissipation through the ground, places like a basement hangout space will tend to be much cooler than higher floors in a house. By spending more time in those spaces during the day, you can stay comfortable without needing to keep your thermostat setting as low.
9. When the Cat’s Away: Use a programable thermostat that will allow you to set your home thermostat to automatically raise its temperature setting for times when you are typically away from the home, on vacation, or at night when the house will tend to naturally be cooler.
10. Do it at Night: Doing things like running the dishwasher, cooking, or doing the laundry can introduce a significant heat load into the house. By waiting to do these activities until the evening, you can take advantage of the natural cooling of your house after the sun goes down.