Are you stressed by increasing utility costs this summer? To reduce AC costs without losing comfort, you should adopt energy-saving routines, implement low-cost changes and make strategic long-term investments. Here are 15 effective strategies to try.
Trimming AC costs may be easier than you think. Here are some totally free ways to ease your monthly electricity bills:
1. Keep curtains and blinds closed: About 76 percent of the sunlight that streams onto standard double-pane windows goes into the building as heat. By closing out the sun by pulling insulating curtains and blinds over your south- and west-facing windows, you cut down on solar heat gain in the afternoon and reduce the demand for air conditioning.
2. Turn up the temperature: You can save up to three percent on your cooling expenses for each degree you increase the temperature. Try setting your thermostat a tad higher than usual and using a fan to make up the difference.
3. Switch off the lights when not in use: Lights, especially incandescent bulbs, create a great deal of heat. Turning them off when you leave the room lowers the interior heat gain your air conditioner must combat.
4. Use appliances prudently: Wait to use heat-generating appliances like the oven, dryer and dishwasher until the cool part of the day. This technique lightens your AC’s load during the hot afternoon, lowering your bill and boosting home comfort.
5. Run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans: Remove heat and humidity while cooking and showering to diminish the workload on your cooling system.
If you’re willing to part with a few dollars, you can put an even bigger dent in your AC expenses. Here are some affordable improvements to consider:
6. Install a programmable thermostat: If you still have a traditional thermostat, consider upgrading. A programmable thermostat automatically modifies the temperature according to your routine. You can slash AC bills by up to 10 percent by setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day. Thanks to automatic recovery periods, you can enjoy these savings without inconvenience or discomfort.
7. Schedule regular maintenance: Your AC should have routine checkups to ensure it runs easily and efficiently. Maintenance visits every spring also provide a chance to find and resolve small issues before they grow into expensive repairs. This small, predictable cost provides a substantial return on investment through greater efficiency and helps your AC last as long as possible.
8. Seal leaks: In lots of homes, leaky windows and doors cause about 25 percent of its cooling energy use. Fix those irritating leaks with caulk and weatherstripping.
9. Install reflective window film: Window film reflects the sun’s rays to the exterior, decreasing solar heat gain. This wallet-friendly upgrade is a great way to enhance your older windows’ efficiency without buying new ones to replace them.
10. Upgrade to LED lights: LEDs create almost no heat and consume considerably less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These qualities help keep your home more comfortable and lower lighting costs as well.
If you’re looking to make more substantial changes, explore the following investments to cut cooling costs in the long run:
11. Insulate the attic: Hot air can seep through the ceiling if your attic isn’t properly insulated. Look inside the attic, and if you don’t see a thick, even layer of insulation, you may want to look into adding more. Depending on what kind of insulation you select, you could need to contact a professional for the job.
12. Plant trees for natural shade: Planting leafy trees on the south and west sides of your house reduces sunlight and produces a cool microclimate around your home, naturally lowering your cooling needs.
13. Replace your windows: Old, single-pane windows let in a lot of heat, requiring your AC to work harder. Replacing single-pane windows with double- or triple-pane windows with state-of-the-art glazing features elevates your home’s air-tightness and keeps the interior cooler.
14. Upgrade your AC system: Using an aging air conditioner hurts your wallet more than you might think. Upgrading from a decade-old 10 SEER model to a contemporary 15 SEER unit can save you 33 percent on your AC costs. The savings potential of this purchase is even higher if you’re able to invest more up front.
15. Install solar panels: Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to run your cooling system and other electric devices. The ongoing cost savings, coupled with tax incentives available through 2035, make this a valuable investment.
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we make the extra step to deliver excellent HVAC services that help reduce air conditioning costs in the long run. Because of our top-quality products, Expert knowledge, and attention to detail, we feel secure backing our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about how we can help minimize your summer air conditioning expenses, please reach out to the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Schedule your appointment by calling 866-397-3787 today!
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