Is this hot, humid weather starting to impact your budget? At VCNB we are always looking for ways to save a little money and to use our resources more efficiently. So today we are talking about ways to lower our summer cooling bill.
If you’re like a lot of our customers, you cool your home using either a central air conditioner or window units. Or maybe you simply use fans to keep the air moving and the windows open. Either way, there are methods you can use to keep air conditioners running efficiently, to prevent heat build-up and to prevent energy waste.
Here are some tips to get you started today:
Close the blinds Anything that prevents the sun from beating in and creating a greenhouse effect will make it easier for your AC unit to maintain cooler temps. If possible consider planting leafy trees or bushes that will provide shade for your home.
Look for leaks It sounds silly but you can lose a lot of cool air through small openings around doors and windows. Another major source of loss is around window air conditioning units. A few minutes sealing small drafts can help with energy bills year round. If you have a little extra money, consider adding insulation to your attic as well!
Clean the filters Keep your air conditioner in great working condition by cleaning the filters once every month and replacing them when necessary.
Program the thermostat While you may like your house at a comfortable 75 degrees when you’re home, there’s no need to keep the house so cool when you aren’t there. Invest in a programmable thermostat and set it to increase five to ten degrees while you are away from home and to return to a comfortable temperature an hour before you return.
Turn off the oven Turning on the oven heats up the house, forcing your air conditioner to work harder. Cook on the grill, in the microwave or on the stop top!
Set your air conditioning fan to auto This turns the fan motor off when the unit is not cooling. Using Auto rather than On can save you $15 to $25 a month during the summer.
Use ceiling fans Set ceiling fans to blow downward during the summer to circulate air rather than lowering your thermostat.
Thinking ahead When it’s time to replace your air conditioning unit, talk to a qualified air conditioning specialist who can determine the right size cooling system for your home. A unit that is too large for your house will operate as inefficiently as one that is too small. Also choose a higher SEER unit. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and basically rates the efficiency of a cooling unit. The higher the SEER number, the more cooling you will get for your dollar.
What are your techniques for keeping your home cool and your cold, hard cash in your wallet? Comment below!