13 Easy Tips on How to Save Money on Air Conditioning this Summer
Summer season has a lot more to offer than winters. There are parties going on, baseball games, backyard cookouts, summer vacations, fourth of July fireworks and so much more. Everything is likeable about summers except for one thing which is the heat. Whoof, indeed it can be quite unbearable! It is tempting to stay indoors with the air conditioner cranked up but air-conditioned comfort comes with a price tag (a very high price tag). Oops! The average residential bill in the U.S per residential customer is around 1,345 U.S dollars. Furthermore, this figure is expected to rise with the passage of time and increased use of air conditioners.
Now that the summer season is approaching fast, one thing that everyone wants to know is how to save money on air conditioning? It is certainly not easy to save money on AC bills, especially in the sweltering heat. However, there are some ways which can help you keep your costs as low as possible without compromising on cooling. Stay cool and read on to learn the best ways to save money on air conditioning.
- Check your Windows – Keep out the Heat
- Throw Shades – Block the heat
- Solar Screen – Go Solar
- Lighting – Choose Wisely
- Ceiling Fans – Fan Around
- Ventilation – Let the Air Pass
- Installation of AC – Location Matters
- AC temperature – Keep it Low
- AC Maintenance – Stay up to date
- Smart AC Controller & Thermostats – Save Energy up to 25%
- Electronic Devices – Unplug
- Paint – Keep it Light
- Plant Trees – Go Green
1. Check your Windows – Keep Out the Heat
First of all check your windows. Yes, windows and not your darling air conditioning system. Why? 25%–30% heat at home is transferred from windows. Switching to energy efficient windows is one very viable option, but if you are not interested in remodeling at the moment, keep your current windows in top condition! In case they are faulty, the chances are that you won’t be able to save money on air conditioning bills. It is best to check and upgrade your windows at the start of the season.
Things that you need to look out for include checking for air leaks. Covering the leaks and weather stripping your windows will help you save money on AC bill. You will see a visible difference in the temperature too once you get the leaks fixed and the heat transfer is minimized.
According to the U.S. Department of energy, 76% of the sunlight on windows enters in the form of heat. Another efficient way to save money on AC bills is to add a shade to your windows. This is an easy solution to this problem. This solution will not only keep the heat away but will help you save some major bucks.
Furthermore, you can keep the sun from heating the room by covering your living room with heavy curtains. Likewise, blinds or shades that can block out heat and sunlight can be used to keep the heat away.
2. Window Films – Cover your Windows
If you are not a fan of heavy curtains then another very affordable and easy option is window films. These films are the best for areas with warmer climates or where summer is unbearable.
Window films are of mainly two types – Tinted films can change the color of sunlight entering the room. On the other hand, reflective films have mirror like finishing and are used for heat and glare reduction. Reflective films are more effective than tinted films.
Tinted windows coupled up with heavy curtains can prove to be very beneficial in maintaining a pleasant temperature at home.
3. Solar Screens – Block Out the Heat
Normally, standard mesh screens are installed outside windows to keep out the insects. They don’t provide shade nor keep out the heat. The best alternative for mesh screen is a solar screen. Solar screens do consist of a mesh that has a polyester weave, moreover these can block up to 70% of the heat thus reducing heat transfer.
You can easily get this screen from home improvement stores. Since the density of solar screen varies, always choose a screen that does not block out too much sunlight. While choosing the screen, carefully check the screen density. Blocking out too much light can also lead to increased used of electricity.
4. Lighting – Choose Wisely
Lighting is one major consideration when wondering how to save money on air conditioning. Do you still have incandescent and halogen bulbs installed in your home? If yes, then you need to swap these bulbs with LED bulbs ASAP. Incandescent and halogen emit more heat than LED bulbs, resulting in an increased temperature at home.
Incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat. They not only emit heat but also take up more electricity than LED bulbs. Change your lighting this summer and cut down on electricity bills. LED bulbs help you save energy and emit less heat. During day time you can also keep any windows open that are not in direct contact with the sun for lighting.
5. Ceiling Fans – Increase Circulation
There are some days when your house feels extremely stuffy and there is an urge to turn on the air conditioner. Turn on your ceiling fan on such a day and try to minimize the use of the air conditioners. Ceiling fans circulate cool air and take the burden off your air conditioner. They are an important consideration is wondering how to save money on air conditioning.
You can also consider using smart fans to regulate room temperatures. These fans can also work alongside your air conditioner. By keeping the AC at minimal speed and thus saving energy, the fans can smartly pick up room conditions and work to maintain the best temperature.
These fans cost less than air conditioners plus they consumer a lot less electricity, slashing your bills in summer. It is always a great idea to have ceiling fans as a backup. Make the most out of your ceiling fans and install them at places that can help blow cool air around the house.
6. Ventilation – Let the Air Pass
An energy efficient house is tightly sealed and there is little to no room for ventilation. The house needs to be ventilated in a controlled manner to maintain the desired temperature. Moreover, an efficient ventilation system helps you to get rid of moisture and heat etc.
The heat released by household appliances or other electronic devices builds up to raise the temperature of your home. At night when the temperature is cool, turn off your air conditioner and open the windows. As a result, the wind will naturally ventilate your home by entering and leaving through the windows. Ceiling fans can come in handy to facilitate the ventilation process. This trick would definitely help you save energy on AC bills.
7. Installation of AC – Location Matters!
While installing an air conditioner, location is an important consideration. Make sure that your AC condenser is located under a shade and has enough space to dispose of heat. If your air conditioner is located at a place where it is in direct contact with the sun, it is wise to change the location as soon as possible to save money on AC costs this summer.
Also, don’t cover the air conditioner with a lot of leaves and shrubs. Likewise, try keeping the debris and dirt away from the base of your air conditioner. Choosing the right location for your air conditioner will increase its efficiency. Moreover, it will help you save money on AC bills.
8. AC Temperature – Keep it Low
During the night, the temperature is relatively cooler than the day time. Try keeping the temperature of your AC low during the night to save money on your AC in summer. You can also use a smart AC controller or a programmable thermostat, to set a temperature range for the night. It would help you to maintain the temperature within the set range for a happy, relaxed slumber.
During the day time you can either keep your air conditioning on full blast or you can maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the day. The best way to save money on air conditioning is to use your AC moderately. Some AC’s also come with energy saving modes such as eco or run on auto. These modes can be quite beneficial to maintain a low, steady, comfy temperature.
9. AC Maintenance – Stay up to Date
Statistics show that air conditioners cost U.S. homeowners $29 billion dollar every year. One of the most important things to do when summer starts is to schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioner. Due to regular tune-ups, the life of air conditioners can greatly improve. Moreover, regular maintenance is very important to keep it running in top-notch condition. If your AC is suffering due to any reason, they may put a load on it which means that it will need to work harder and may use a more amount of electricity! Stay alert for signs that indicate the necessity for AC tune ups.
It is necessary to get your AC checked by a professional at the start of the season because a faulty HVAC system can draw up more energy than usual, resulting in higher electricity bills. Most importantly, keep a check on your air filter. If clogged, this can cause the AC to work much harder than needed.
10. Smart AC Controllers & Thermostats – Save Energy
Did you know that you could save energy up to 25% energy with a smart AC controller on a ductless unit? Similarly, smart thermostats can also help save energy. In fact, a smart AC controllers and thermostats do not only help you save energy but offer a number of smart features. Some of them include geolocation controls, temperature-based triggers, comfy mode, weekly scheduling etc.
A smart AC controller lets you set intelligent triggers. Once the temperature reaches the specified range, the AC receives a trigger and accordingly slows down. This greatly helps you save energy! In case you leave for a stroll and forget to turn off your AC, there is no need to worry! The geolocation feature turns off the AC once you leave the house. Investing in a smart air conditioner controller ensures constant temperature throughout the day while keeping your bills low!
11. Electronic Devices – Unplug
Household appliances and other electronic devices are an essential part our daily lives. These devices not only use electricity but also generate heat. The generated heat can raise the temperature of your home leading to an increased use of air conditioning.
When these devices are not in use, they keep drawing a trickle of heat producing current. This current also raises the temperature of your home. It is better to unplug these devices when they are not being used to keep the temperature as cool as possible.
12. Paint – Keep it Light
Did you know that your home’ s paint affects the temperature inside your home? Well, you know now! The department of energy reported that dull and dark colors absorb 70-90% sunlight. This absorbed energy has a significant effect on the temperature indoors. On the contrary, light colored paint helps to reflect the heat.
It is suggested to choose light, cool or pastel paints for your home to keep your home cool. Cooler colors block solar radiations. As a result this trick would help you naturally cool your home and cut down on AC costs. This is one of the best ways to save money on AC that home owners usually forget to consider!
13. Plant Trees – Go Green
It might sound like a cliché that you get to hear every day but planting trees around your house actually helps you save money on AC bills. Trees block out the sunlight and keep your house cool! You can also plant a leafy tree as a shade for your air conditioner to increase the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.
Trees not only help you save money, but planting trees is an eco-friendly step that would benefit the environment in general. Likewise covering your AC with a tree can increase efficiency of your AC and is probably one of the best ways to save money on AC bills. Just make sure the leaves are at a distance and do not obstruct any flow of air from your outdoor unit.
With these useful and easily doable tips on how to save money on air conditioning we hope that your bills stay in budget! In summer, it is definitely very difficult to save money on AC costs but these tips will definitely help you to take out a big chunk out of your AC bill without suffering in scorching heat.
While it is not advisable to always keep your air conditioning cranked-up, make sure that the temperature of your home doesn’t rise above dangerous levels. If the temperature rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity also increases, there is a chance that your body can suffer from heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.