All too often, rising temperatures translate to rising air conditioning bills (giving you yet another reason to sweat this summer). But it doesn’t have to be this way!
You can save money on AC and keep cool this summer with a little forward thinking and smart strategy.
Find out how to stay comfortable while reducing AC costs.
Select the Right Equipment
Unsurprisingly, an oversized heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will require more energy to run, thereby increasing AC costs on your electricity bill. Meanwhile, a system that is too small for your home will have to work overtime to keep the house cool, greedily sucking up energy as well.
Energy Star recommended measuring the square footage of your home and using this figure to choose the correct cooling capacity, which is expressed in British thermal units, or BTUs, per hours.
You must also determine which makes the most sense for your home: a central air conditioner, heat pump or mini-split system. Working with an energy consultant is an excellent way to receive advice on what equipment may work best for you and help you save on AC costs.
Also, remember that energy efficient equipment will benefit both your bank account and the environment. Look for your equipment’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating, to find out how it performs.
Maintain Your AC System
If you want to save money on AC, keeping your system well-maintained is essential.
An AC system running at peak efficiency will reduce energy expenditure. Additionally, routinely servicing the system makes it less likely to break down and saves you from having to replace it completely. Keep in mind that the 2016 American Home Comfort Study showed nearly a third of all HVAC purchases made last year resulted from equipment breakdown.
It’s important to ensure your AC system is maintained by technicians with the proper training, such as those who receive North American Technician Excellence certification. NATE-certified technicians generate fewer callbacks from customers when compared to non-certified technicians.
“Shading your air conditioner can increase system efficiency by up to 10%.”
Tackle Property Issues
The equipment you use isn’t the only thing that impacts AC costs.
For instance, if you live in a drafty home that leaks indoor air, you may be forced to keep your AC system running overtime to keep temperatures low. Prevent cool air from escaping by sealing openings. You can also improve your home’s insulation to keep your property cool during summer, as well as warm in winter.
If your home relies on ductwork, make sure it’s clear of debris and vents are unobstructed. A couch that blocks an air vent can prevent cool air from properly circulating. Meanwhile, a dirty air filter may also interfere with cooling, as well as harm indoor air quality.
Solar screens and window films can also be used to absorb and reflect heat during the summer time to help minimize your homes cooling costs.
If you’ve got a green thumb, planting trees or shrubs that shield your home and AC system from direct sunlight can make a big difference. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reported trees or shrubs that provide shade for your air conditioner can increase your system’s efficiency by up to 10 percent.
Ready to save money on AC this summer? Try the tips above to keep cool without breaking the bank.