Summer time comes with a lot of fun and outdoor activities. But as the mercury levels rise, so do the costs of air conditioning to keep your indoors cool and comfortable.
Here are our top tips for cutting down on the AC bills, whether you are a tenant or an owner.
1. Maintain the Cooling System
Regardless of what type of AC you are using or the temperature you prefer, caring for your equipment can cut on costs. Therefore, clean or replace your AC filters regularly. Dirty AC filters prevent air from flowing smoothly and force the units to work harder. Cleaning or replacing the filters every month can lower your AC’s energy consumption by anywhere between 5% and 15%. Also, if you use a central cooling system, ensure that your floor registers are not blocked by furniture or dust.
2. Avoid Cooling the Neighbourhood
Most homes, especially the old ones, have leakages that allow cold air from inside to seep out into the environment. It could be a poorly insulated loft, worn-out doors, window seals, or cracks.
You could sign up for a home energy audit to find out just how well your energy efficiency is holding up. If you find an energy audit too expensive (remember we are trying to cut on costs here), you can just do it yourself. Go outside your house and run your hand over the windows and doors, checking if cold air is escaping. Seal any leaky windows and add insulation around doors.
3. Use a Fan
You’ll be surprised to know that a ceiling fan can make your interior feel 10 degrees cooler while using only 10% of the amount of energy that would go into a central air conditioner. You can also enhance the efficiency further by using smart ceiling fans that are controllable from an app.
4. Block the Sun
When a lot of sunlight is penetrating your house, it heats the furniture and air inside, causing your AC to overwork. Be sure to keep the curtains, blinds, awnings, and drapes drawn. We recommend using medium-coloured curtains that have white plastic backings for the best results. Besides, make use of interior/ exterior blinds, solar screens, shutters, and window films. You could reduce heat gain by up to 33%!
5. Avoid Activities that Build up Heat During the Day
Making lunch on the stovetop, using the clothes dryer or dishwasher, and leaving lights on, TVs, computers, etc., are all things that increase your AC energy consumption. You could try saving these activities until later in the day or do them outside. Who doesn’t like a nice barbeque in the backyard during the summer?
Furthermore, you could avoid cooking by preparing a salad or use the microwave instead of the oven. One more thing; turn off all unnecessary lights.
6. Crank Up the Thermostat
Of course, we don’t recommend this during the day when it’s hot. In the night time and when you leave the house, however, you should definitely turn the heat up. Contrary to popular opinion, leaving the air conditioner running when you leave the house does not save money. The most inexpensive approach to running an air conditioner is to turn the thermostat up whenever you leave the house.
Moreover, you can take advantage of the nice cool breeze that blows at night. Open the windows on both sides of your house,and the air will flow in, gently cooling your house while you enjoy a peaceful sleep.
7. Never Set Too Slow
Remember that every degree you can do without translates to savings on energy consumption. Set it just low enough for you to be comfortable and high enough not to use too much power. As a general rule, don’t go 8 degrees less than the outdoor temperature because the temperature gradient also influences how much heat is dissipated.
8. Place the Thermostat on the Right Door
The position of your thermostat influences energy consumption on cooling a great deal. For instance, having it on a wall that gets a lot of heat or next to a hot window will cause the thermostat to interpret a higher room temperature than it actually is. Consequently, the AC will run more often.
It is not very hard to save on AC energy consumption during the summer. Just think of anything that causes the room to heat up or overworks the AC and eliminate or reduce it. Do you have any more ideas for saving on AC costs? Share with us.