10 Tips for Affordable Air Conditioning this Summer
By Audrianna Modon on May 30, 2019
The summer heat doesn’t have to mean a jump in your electric bill. Having an energy efficient unit drastically reduces electricity bill costs, and small changes in your home will work with it to keep your home as efficient as possible. Follow these 10 tips to save some money and improve your AC unit’s energy efficiency.
Use a Ceiling Fan
Set your ceiling fan to run in a counter-clockwise direction as you look up at it. This forces the air to circulate down onto you, giving you the wind chill effect, and making you feel cooler.
Close the Blinds
During the hottest part of the day, close your window blinds. This blocks the sunlight from warming your house and acts as another layer of insulation keeping the cool air in.
Change your AC Filter
A blocked filter makes your AC unit work harder to draw in air. This wastes energy and will limit the performance of the unit. Filters should be changed or cleaned once a month at least, and more often if you have a pet that sheds.
Don't Set it Too Low
Set your thermostat to the U.S. Department of Energy recommended 78 degrees while you are home and need cooling. You can save an estimated 10 percent a year by setting the thermostat 10-15 degrees warmer for eight hours a day.
Pick the Right Wall for the Thermostat
Having the thermostat near a window might force it to turn the AC on before it’s needed because that wall will be warmer than those placed in the interior of the home. And installing it near a room that is regularly warm, like the kitchen, will mean the AC kicks on before it should. Here is how to find the perfect wall for your thermostat.
How are lightbulbs related to AC? Traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, wasting as much as 90 percent of the energy creating heat rather than the light they are used for. This heats up your house and wastes electricity. Consider replacing them with CFL (compact fluorescent light), or LED (light emitting diode) bulbs.
Don't Block the Registers
Air should flow up into the air from the register. Consider purchasing a deflector if your register does not adjust for air flow. Impeding this flow of air will waste energy and could even cause your unit to freeze. If you must close registers, try to close no more than one-quarter of your home’s supply registers.
Close the Basement Door
Cool air flows downward naturally, and rooms underground keep their cool more easily. Shutting the basement door won’t mean it becomes uncomfortably warm and will stop your cool air inside the house from escaping into the basement.
Cool-Down Early in the Day
Cooling down a hot building takes more energy than maintaining the cool in a building. Beat the heat and start cooling your house down before the heat of the day. This will also reduce the time it takes to get the house to a comfortable temperature.
Keep AC in the Shade
Consider placing your AC unit in a shady area around your house. The unit must cool the air it draws in and starting with cooler air at the beginning of the process will mean less energy used throughout.
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Categories: Energy Efficiency