Are you burdened by escalating utility expenses this summer? To reduce AC costs without sacrificing comfort, you should adopt energy-saving habits, implement low-cost changes and make strategic long-term investments. Here are 15 tried and tested techniques to consider.
Adopt Good Energy Habits
Cutting air conditioning costs may be easier than you suspect. Here are some completely free ways to ease your monthly utility bills:
1. Keep curtains and blinds closed: Roughly 76 percent of the sunlight that beats down on standard double-pane windows enters as heat. By shutting out the sun with insulating curtains and blinds over your south- and west-facing windows, you lessen solar heat gain in the afternoon and reduce the need for air conditioning.
2. Turn up the temperature: You can save up to three percent on your cooling bills for each degree you elevate the temperature. Try turning up the temperature on your thermostat a little higher than usual and operating a fan to make up the difference.
3. Turn off the lights when not in use: Lights, especially incandescent bulbs, create quite a lot of heat. Turning them off when you aren't in the space reduces the interior heat gain your air conditioner must combat.
4. Use appliances wisely: Wait to use heat-generating appliances like the oven, dryer and dishwasher until the cool time of the day. This strategy relieves some of your AC’s burden during the hot afternoon, lowering your bill and maximizing 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.
Invest in Low-Cost Upgrades
If you’re willing to part with a few dollars, you can put an even bigger dent in your AC costs. Here are some cost-effective improvements to consider:
6. Install a programmable thermostat: If you still have a traditional thermostat, look into upgrading. A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature based on your schedule. You can slash AC costs by up to 10 percent by turning the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day. Thanks to automatic recovery periods, you can enjoy these savings without aggravation or discomfort.
7. Schedule regular maintenance: Your air conditioning needs scheduled checkups to ensure it runs effectively and efficiently. Maintenance visits every spring also provide a chance to detect and solve minor issues before they grow into expensive repairs. This small, predictable cost provides a substantial return on investment through greater 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 around 25 percent of its cooling energy use. Seal those troublesome leaks with caulk and weatherstripping.
9. Add reflective window film: Window film reflects the sun’s rays to the exterior, limiting solar heat gain. This wallet-friendly upgrade is an ideal way to increase your older windows’ efficiency without replacing them.
10. Upgrade to LED lights: LEDs create almost no heat and use far less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These qualities help keep your home cooler and lower lighting costs as well.
Consider Long-Term Home Investments
If you’re ready93 to make more substantial changes, you may want to make the following investments to cut cooling costs in the long run:
11. Insulate the attic: Hot air can get through the ceiling if your attic isn’t properly insulated. Look inside the attic, and if you don’t see a substantial, even layer of insulation, consider adding more. Depending on what form of insulation you have, you might need to contact a professional for the job.
12. Plant trees for natural shade: Planting leafy trees on the south and west sides of your house blocks sunlight and creates a cool microclimate around your home, naturally reducing your cooling demands.
13. Replace your windows: Old, single-pane windows let in a whole lot of heat, making your air conditioner to work harder. Replacing single-pane windows with double- or triple-pane windows with advanced glazing features improves 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 opportunities of this purchase is even greater if you’re willing to invest more up front.
15. Install solar panels: Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to run your cooling system and other electric equipment. The ongoing savings, coupled with tax incentives available through 2035, make this a worthwhile investment.
Save More on Your AC in Waldorf With Help From A-PLUS Service Experts
At A-PLUS Service Experts, we make the extra step to deliver133 exceptional HVAC services that help decrease air conditioning costs in the long run. Because of our premium products, Expert knowledge and attention to detail, we feel confident backing our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about how we can help lower your summer air conditioning costs, please contact the Experts at A-PLUS Service Experts. Schedule your appointment today by calling 301-747-3140!