Are you burdened by skyrocketing utility expenses this summer? To cut AC costs without compromising comfort, you should adopt energy-saving routines, implement low-cost changes and make strategic long-term investments. Here are 15 proven strategies to try.
Trimming cooling expenses may be easier than you imagine. Here are some absolutely free ways to ease your monthly electricity bills:
1. Keep curtains and blinds closed: About 76 percent of the sunlight that streams onto standard double-pane windows goes into the building as heat. By shutting out the sun by pulling insulating curtains and blinds over your south- and west-facing windows, you lessen 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 air conditioning expenses for each degree you elevate the temperature. Try cranking 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, produce quite a lot of heat. Turning them off when you walk out of the area reduces the interior heat gain your air conditioner must combat.
4. Use appliances prudently: Wait to use heat-generating appliances like the oven, dryer and dishwasher until the cooler time of the day. This strategy reduces your AC’s workload during the hot afternoon, lowering 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 cooling system.
If you’re willing to invest a few dollars, you can put an even bigger dent in your AC spending. Here are some affordable improvements to consider:
6. Set up a programmable thermostat: If you still have a traditional thermostat, think about upgrading. A programmable thermostat automatically changes the temperature based on your daily schedule. You can slash AC costs by up to 10 percent by turning the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours per day. Thanks to automatic recovery periods, you can appreciate these savings without aggravation or discomfort.
7. Schedule regular maintenance: Your AC needs regular checkups to ensure it runs easily and efficiently. Maintenance visits every spring also provide a chance to detect and fix little issues before they grow into expensive repairs. This small, predictable expense provides a significant return on investment through increased efficiency and can lengthen the unit’s life.
8. Seal leaks: In lots of homes, leaky windows and doors are responsible for about 25 percent of its cooling energy use. Seal those irritating leaks with caulk and weatherstripping.
9. Use reflective window film: Window film reflects the sun’s rays to the outdoors, reducing solar heat gain. This economical upgrade is a very good way to improve your older windows’ efficiency without buying new ones to replace them.
10. Upgrade to LED lights: LEDs produce almost no heat and use far less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These attributes help keep your home from getting warm and lower lighting costs as well.
If you’re ready to make more substantial modifications, 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 sufficiently insulated. Take a look inside the attic, and if you don’t see a deep, even layer of insulation, you may want to look into adding more. Depending on what type of insulation you choose, you could 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 reduces sunlight and creates a cool microclimate around your home, naturally reducing your cooling needs.
13. Replace your windows: Old, single-pane windows let in a lot of heat, making your HVAC system to work harder. Replacing single-pane windows with double- or triple-pane windows with advanced glazing features elevates your home’s air-tightness and keeps the interior cooler.
14. Upgrade your AC system: Running an aging air conditioner costs 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 AC bills. The savings potential of this purchase is even higher if you’re willing to invest more up front.
15. Install solar panels: Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to power your cooling system and other electric appliances. The ongoing cost savings, together with tax incentives available through 2035, make this a valuable investment.
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we make the extra step to provide top-notch 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 reduce your summer cooling expenditures, please contact the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Schedule your appointment by calling 866-397-3787 today!
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