Are you stressed by skyrocketing utility expenses this summer? To slash AC costs without sacrificing comfort, you should adopt energy-saving behaviors, implement low-cost changes and make strategic long-term investments. Here are 15 tried and tested techniques to use.
Cutting air conditioning costs may be easier than you think. Here are some totally free ways to ease your monthly energy bills:
1. Keep curtains and blinds closed: Roughly 76 percent of the sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows enters as heat. By shutting out the sun by pulling insulating curtains and blinds over your south- and west-facing windows, you minimize solar heat gain in the afternoon and reduce the necessity for air conditioning.
2. Turn up the temperature: You can save up to three percent on your cooling bills for each degree you increase the temperature. Try setting your thermostat a bit higher than usual and operating a fan to make up the difference.
3. Flip off the lights when not in use: Lights, especially incandescent bulbs, produce a great deal of heat. Turning them off when you aren’t in the area decreases the interior heat gain your AC must combat.
4. Use appliances strategically: Wait to use heat-generating appliances like the oven, dryer and dishwasher until the coolest time of the day. This technique lightens your AC’s load during the hot afternoon, bringing down your bill and boosting home comfort.
5. Run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans: Get rid of heat and humidity while cooking and showering to cut down the workload on your air conditioner.
If you’re willing to invest a few dollars, you can put an even greater dent in your cooling costs. Here are some affordable improvements to consider:
6. Install a programmable thermostat: If you still have a manual thermostat, think about upgrading. A programmable thermostat automatically changes the temperature based on your routine. You can slash AC bills by up to 10 percent by dialing the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours per day. Thanks to automatic recovery periods, you can appreciate these savings without hassle or discomfort.
7. Schedule regular maintenance: Your air conditioning should have regular checkups to make certain it runs properly and efficiently. Maintenance visits every spring also give technicians a chance to find and solve little issues before they grow into expensive repairs. This small, predictable expense provides a significant return on investment through improved efficiency and helps your AC last as long as possible.
8. Seal leaks: In a large number of homes, leaky windows and doors are the culprit behind about 25 percent of its cooling energy use. Close off those irritating leaks with caulk and weatherstripping.
9. Add reflective window film: Window film reflects the sun’s rays to the outdoors, limiting solar heat gain. This budget-friendly upgrade is an ideal way to enhance your older windows’ efficiency without buying new ones to replace them.
10. Upgrade to LED lights: LEDs produce almost no heat and utilize a lot less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These qualities help keep your home cooler and reduce lighting costs as well.
If you’re looking to make more significant changes, explore the following investments to cut AC costs in the long run:
11. Insulate the attic: Hot air can seep through the ceiling if your attic isn’t properly insulated. Peek inside the attic, and if you don’t see a substantial, even layer of insulation, you may want to look into adding more. Depending on what kind of insulation you choose, you might need to hire a professional for the job.
12. Plant trees for natural shade: Planting leafy trees on the south and west sides of your house reduces sunlight and produces a cool microclimate around your home, naturally cutting down on your cooling requirements.
13. Replace your windows: Old, single-pane windows let in a large amount of heat, requiring your AC to work harder. Buying new double- or triple-pane windows with innovative glazing features elevates your home’s air-tightness and keeps the interior cooler.
14. Upgrade your AC system: Running an aging air conditioner hurts your wallet more than you might think. Upgrading from a decade-old 10 SEER model to a modern 15 SEER unit can save you 33 percent on your cooling bills. The savings capacity of this purchase is even more if you’re able to invest more up front.
15. Install solar panels: Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to operate your cooling system and other electric appliances. The ongoing savings, combined with tax incentives available through 2035, make this a beneficial investment.
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we make the extra step to make sure our customers get excellent HVAC services that help cut air conditioning costs in the long run. Because of our superior products, Expert knowledge, and attention to detail, we feel very comfortable backing our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about how we can help reduce your summer AC costs, please contact the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Schedule your appointment by calling 866-397-3787 today!
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