Having a comfortably cool home in the summer doesn’t have to mean dealing with astronomical electric bills. In fact, with a few small tweaks and a little preventative maintenance, you can easily reduce your air conditioning costs this summer without sacrificing comfort. Here are four ways to manage this balance:
Change Your Air Conditioner Filter
If your air filter isn’t changed on a regular basis, it becomes clogged with dust, pet hair, dirt, and other debris. The cool air then has to try to bypass all of that before it can be circulated throughout your home. This makes your air conditioner work much harder than it should have to, which in turn leads to higher utility bills in the summer.
Changing your air filter should be based on the specific model you have (double check your owner’s manual), but a good rule of thumb is every 90 days for normal use, and more often if you have pets or allergies.
Check for Air Leaks
If your home isn’t properly sealed and insulated, your air conditioned air will escape your home, making your AC much less efficient. This spring, spend some time doing a quick audit of your insulation. Your windows and doors should be sealed, and old, worn out weatherstripping should be replaced.
Fill cracks or small holes in walls and around doors and windows with caulk. Make sure that your attic is properly insulated as well, as a lot of cool air (and warm air in the winter) is lost through your roof.
Make Use of Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans, be sure to make use of them in the summer. While they don’t cool the air themselves, they help to more effectively circulate your air conditioned air. This keeps the rooms of your home more comfortable while using less energy. Just be sure that your ceiling fans are turned counter-clockwise, in order to push the cool air back down and into the room instead of letting it escape.
Consider Adding a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can make your cooling more efficient by allowing you to control the temperature remotely from your phone. If you forget to turn your AC down before you leave for work, you can simply change the temperature from your phone instead of wasting energy all day. You can also pre-program your AC to be set to specific temperatures during certain days and times, ensuring a comfortable home and reducing energy costs.
Making a few minor changes around your home can help your AC run more efficiently, keep your home comfortably cool all summer, and reduce your cooling costs.