Air conditioning systems are an enigma in the home. As a homeowner, you want to stay cool, but you don’t want to spend more money than necessary. As a result, most people end up compromising. They either very rarely run the air conditioning and end up suffering in the heat of the summer, or they run it all day, every day and end up spending hundreds each month. Well, what if we told you there’s a way to stay cool without paying outrageous monthly costs?
8 Cost-Cutting Cooling Tips
Using the following eight tips, you can not only cut your cooling bill, but you can also keep your family comfortable throughout the hottest months of the year.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling accounts for 48 percent of the average home’s utility bill. In other words, half of your summer utility costs are going towards cooling your home. The issue for most people is that they don’t understand how to set their AC system for cost savings.
While it’s helpful to understand your system and how it interacts with the different zones or rooms in your home, you don’t have to be an airflow expert to save money these days. Thanks to the handful of different programmable thermostats on the market, you can save money without any need for manual adjustments.
These programmable thermostats learn your preferences and automatically adjust throughout the day to account for your habits and routines (even turning off when you leave and kicking back on a few minutes before you return). Some of the top smart thermostats include the Nest Learning Thermostat, Honeywell Lyric, and ecobee3.
2. Clean the Air Filter Regularly
Something as simple as cleaning and replacing your air filters on a regular basis can enhance your AC’s efficiency. This allows you to reduce energy dependence and can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
While you can clean your air filter as frequently as you’d like, it can be helpful to know when the time’s right to actually replace the filter. This depends on a number of factors, including the type of filter, quality of air in the house, presence of pets, number of people in the home, and time of year. The standard suggestion is to replace every three months, but you may choose to shorten or extend that timeframe depending on the factors mentioned above.
3. Replace Existing AC System
Do you have an old central AC or window unit? While it may be costly up front, you can save a lot of money down the road by simply replacing outdated systems with Energy Star models or other highly efficient systems. Energy Star claims you can slash cooling costs by as much as 30 percent by replacing a 12 year old central cooling system with an Energy Star certified model.
4. Run the System Less at Night
It’s okay to run your AC less at night. Turning the temperature up a few degrees before bedtime (while simultaneously using the fan) can help you save money each month. This is especially true if your bedroom is on a different floor or temperature zone than your daytime living spaces.
For example, if your bedrooms are upstairs, but the kitchen and living room are downstairs. Turning the downstairs system off at night is a simple way to save without any sacrifice. In the morning, simply turn the system back on and your temperature should be regulated in a matter of minutes.
5. Close Off Unused Vents
In most basements, it’s unnecessary to leave vents open 24 hours a day. Basements are typically the coolest rooms in the home and don’t need cold air constantly circulating. Try closing off your vents and leaving the door to the basement open. Cool air from upstairs will naturally sink down and cool the lower level.
This also goes for rooms you rarely use – such as a guest bedroom. Shutting off the vents in these rooms will send air to other rooms that you do use on a regular basis. After all, you might as well enjoy the air you’re paying for.
6. Keep Sunlight Out
While there are few reasons to complain about sunlight, excessive rays do have a way of increasing the temperature of your home and forcing the AC to kick into high gear. By blocking out unnecessary sunlight, you can counteract this process. If you don’t want to constantly use blinds and shades, installing window film is a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing solution to this issue. For best results, place film on south and west facing windows.
7. Check Your Insulation
How well is your home insulated? This is a big one for both heating and cooling costs. If there are excessive gaps or leaks in your walls or around windows and doors, you may be wasting hundreds of dollars per year.
One of the best ways to improve the insulating quality of your home is to caulk any gaps or cracks you find around windows and doors. Weatherstripping the attic door is another way to keep unwanted heat from flowing into the home.
8. Have Your System Serviced Regularly
Finally, you need to make sure your HVAC system is serviced on a regular basis. This allows you to identify problems before they become costly issues. A trained and certified technician can also suggest simple tweaks for saving money.
While most homeowners wait until something is wrong to call their HVAC company, it’s often too late. Not only are companies slammed with work during the peak months, but you may be forced to replace an expensive part or entire system if you’ve gone months or years between servicing. For best results, go ahead and have your system serviced twice per year.
Contact Custom Services Inc. Today
At Custom Services, we offer comprehensive air conditioning services in the Tulsa area. Whether you need repairs, maintenance, regular servicing, or a replacement, we’re your company. With a 24-hour call center, our NATE certified technicians are prepared to service your home whenever an issue arises. For additional information regarding our services, please contact us today!