“Major heatwave in the midwest.” “High heat advisory.”
You are going to start to see these headlines and that means more air conditioning for your home, more stress on your A/C unit, and more money for the energy used to run it. Here are a few tips to help minimize those costs and insure that your air conditioning is running efficiently.
- Keep your air filters clean. Regular cleaning or replacing of air conditioning filters is especially important during this time of year, especially if you have allergies. But just as important, when your filter is clogged up with dust
- your a/c has to work harder to do its job. This causes your a/c to run more and ultimately costs you.
- Use your shades during the day. You probably spent a lot of money on the shades in your home. Shaded windows will keep your rooms cooler and allow your a/c unit to run more efficiently. It’s worth the investment.
- Conservation is always an efficient remedy. For each degree you set your thermostat dial below 78 your energy use increases by about 8 percent. So, for example, if your monthly electric bill in the summer is $100, you can save $8 a month for every degree you set your thermostat above 78.
- Get a set-back thermostat. Unless you have a perfect memory to turn your thermostat up a few degrees before your go to work, or leaving the house for an extended period of time, you are wasting money. Programmable thermostats can take the guess work out of it if you have central air, or a timer will work for your window unit.
- Don’t cool the outdoors. Seal air leaks with caulking and weather-stripping. Add insulation around air conditioning ducts and in the attic if you have one. As an added bonus, you will be all set to save more on your heating costs come winter time.
- Use your ceiling fans, or install one if you can. If you can tolerate a little bit of heat, a ceiling fan operating for half that day will cost you about $1-2 per day, while your a/c unit can cost $25-30. Just remember to switch the rotation of your fans to run counterclockwise to push the cool air down. Return the fan to clockwise in the fall when you start heating your house.
- Reflective window film really works. Tinting your windowsA great home improvement idea is to install home window film or tint to the insides of your windows. Not only can it help keep your house cooler in the summer, but also warmer in the winter.
- Worse case scenario. Sometimes a/c units just give out and are no longer efficient. Consider replacing your unit with an energy-efficient model. Most reputable a/c dealers will try to sell you an energy efficient model. They are usually more expensive upfront, but can pay difference themselves in a few years with their efficiency.