Summer is almost in full swing, which means there a good chance that nearly half of your next electric bill will come from keeping your home cool and comfortable. High cooling expenses can put a dent in your budget, which you probably want to use for other things this summer.
Although choosing the most efficient air conditioner possible could help you save some money on your next energy bill, there are plenty of other things you can do to reduce your energy consumption. Here’s just a small sample of how you can save energy by cutting back on your air conditioning usage.
Fiddling with your thermostat every time you want to cool your home could prove to be a costly mistake. Nevertheless, many homeowners do it in an attempt to get near-instantaneous cooling out of their air conditioners. The truth is that the average air conditioning unit is designed to cool off indoor spaces in a gradual manner and keep temperatures as stable as possible.
So when you try to set temperatures based on a near-instantaneous need for cooling, you’ll likely end up wasting electricity, and the resulting temperature swings could make your home feel rather uncomfortable. You’re better off setting your thermostat at a single, constant temperature that’s still comfortable enough for you and others in your home. This is relatively easy to do if you have a programmable thermostat.
If your home has ceiling fans, you can put these to good use throughout the summer. All you need to do is make sure your ceiling fans are set to rotate counterclockwise. This allows your ceiling fan to create a downdraft that sends cool air downwards towards the floor and your home’s occupants. But that’s not all your ceiling fans do to help you feel cool and comfortable.
The real trick is that the downdraft also creates a wind chill effect. In essence, it’s what happens when moisture evaporates from the skin, taking a significant amount of body heat with it. By using the wind chill effect, you can set your thermostat several degrees higher than normal without feeling any loss in overall comfort.
Your windows can be an unexpected source of heat, especially if your home’s orientation is primarily south-facing. You might appreciate the generous amounts of natural light your windows can bring in, but they can also radiate heat directly into your home.
Keeping your curtains closed throughout the day can help reduce the amount of solar heat entering your home, sparing you from running your air conditioner just to counterbalance the additional heat. If you don’t want to lose all of your natural light, you can try leaving your curtains open at windows that don’t receive direct sunlight during the day.
As an alternative, you can invest in window films and solar screens that help reduce heat while allowing natural light to filter through. There are also specially designed high-efficiency windows that offer built-in low-emissivity coatings to reduce heat while maximizing your home’s natural lighting.
An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure when it comes to your air conditioning system. So instead of waiting until the last possible moment to have your air conditioner serviced, make an effort to have your unit serviced on a regular basis. You can create your own maintenance schedule based on your AC manufacturer’s recommendations or purchase an HVAC service agreement.
Most HVAC service agreements usually include routine checkups of your air conditioning system and coverage for labor if any repairs are needed. Some service agreements also include priority “same-day” service, coverage for both parts and labor and 24 hour emergency service.
With these four tips, you’ll be able to beat the summer heat without having your wallet take a beating. Contact Controlled Comfort today if you have any questions or if you need service for your air conditioner.