Most of us are looking for ways to save money. We may carpool, clip coupons, turn off the lights when we leave the room, or put off taking a family vacation in order to balance the family budget. Fortunately, energy bills are one area where it can be easy to cut costs—if you know what to do. During a hot summer, your AC can be the biggest energy sucker in your home, so here are four tips to increase your air conditioning efficiency. After all, there’s no reason you can’t be comfortable and still save a little money.
Tip 1: Clean Your AC
If you want to make sure you’re maximizing your savings keep this in mind: a clean AC is a happy AC. To keep your air conditioner running at peak performance, clean it before you turn it on for the season and change the filter regularly. A dirty filter means your AC will need to work harder to keep you cool. And because a dirty filter leads to improper airflow, you’ll see your energy bills go up if you don’t clean it or change the filter. Also, make sure to get your ductwork and vents cleaned every few years to keep airflow going and that will keep you breathing easy, too.
Tip 2: Close The Windows/ Shades
Think of it just like you would if you were outside—would you rather have a cool spot under a shady tree on a scorching hot day or take on the full power of the sun? You would pick the shade, right? Well, your home is no different. On a hot sunny day, sunbeams shining through your window will add to the overall heat in your house. That can be great in the winter, but in the middle of summer, you shouldn’t find yourself looking for shade while you’re inside your house. Close your blinds and your windows to prevent heat and humidity from coming inside. Your AC will need to work harder to maintain the fluctuating temperatures if you don’t.
Tip 3: Seal Your Home
Another great tip to help with AC efficiency is to seal your home. This may mean getting an energy audit to check for air leaks or cracks around windows, doors and garages. A microscopic break between your window and siding may not seem like much of a big deal, but you are opening your home to outside elements—heat, humidity, allergens, and possibly pests if you don’t seal it up. Plus your AC will need to work that much harder to keep you cool.
Tip 4: Maintain The Temperature
A final easy tip for maximizing your AC’s efficiency is to try to keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during the hours you need it. You can save a lot of money in the summer by setting it at a higher temp during the day and night when you are away, sleeping, or when the sun goes down. Then during the hours you are active at your home, set your thermostat to the highest temperature you feel comfortable. At the beginning of the summer, it may be lower—say 75 degrees—but as summer progresses your body will have time to adjust to summer temperatures and can likely tolerate 78 degrees inside. Remember that maintaining a consistent temperature that’s the closest to the outdoor temperature—while still feeling comfortable – will be most efficient and most comfy.