Every year, nearly 6% of the total electricity produced in United States is consumed by air conditioners. For homeowners, this amounts to a total of $29 billion in energy bills. Most of us incur steep energy bills in lieu of the air conditioning costs, especially during the hot summers.
The good news is that you can change this by following some simple methods. These proven tips help you lower the energy consumption and reduce air-conditioning costs.
Change Thermostat Settings Regularly
Many of us keep our thermostat settings constant. This is usually done to regulate the indoor temperature and keep it at a certain level. However, you can significantly reduce air-conditioning costs by tweaking thermostat settings. For instance, if you are headed out, you can set the thermostat higher. This keeps your indoors cool while consuming less energy. If you can bear to turn off air-conditioning while you are away, that brings in the maximum cost savings.
You can likewise set the thermostat higher at night. The nights are generally cooler, so you need less air-conditioning to achieve a comfortable interior temperature. By adjusting the thermostat at a higher setting, you stay comfortable while incurring less energy bills.
Block the Sunlight
If sunlight enters your home, it can increase the indoor temperature by several degrees. When the indoor temperature is higher, your air-conditioning has to exert more to cool it. This, in turn, results in higher energy consumption and bills. You can take the simple precaution of closing curtains and blinds to minimize sunlight penetration. You can also use thicker curtains or additional materials to insulate the indoors from sunlight. The more insulated your home’s indoors are from sunlight, the less your air-conditioning has to exert.
Ensure Routine Maintenance
Routine service and maintenance of your air conditioner is critically important. Something as simple as cleaning clogged AC filters can reduce air-conditioning costs by a major margin. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that this can reduce energy consumption of the AC by 5% to 15%. Regular maintenance of the air conditioner also ensures timely repairs. These reduce long-term maintenance costs.
Consider Using Storm Windows
Air leakage is a leading cause of high air-conditioning costs. The more effectively you air-seal your house, the less energy your AC uses to cool the indoors. An excellent way to minimize air leakage is by installing storm windows. You can choose from interior and exterior storm windows. Storm windows with a low-e coating are also available on the market. These windows are more effective at reflecting heat so that heat from outdoors doesn’t enter your home. The Department of Energy estimates that using storm windows can result in 12% to 33% savings in air-conditioning costs. This is a huge saving, considering the fact that the windows do not cost much.
Seal the Air Leaks
Air leaks are a leading cause of higher energy costs. The cooler air from indoors escapes your home through these leaks. As a result, the air-conditioning has to use more energy. A quick and easy fix for this is to seal the air leaks in the walls, windows, doors and other components of your home. This can be done by using simple materials like caulk and equipment such as caulking guns. Caulk effectively seals the cracks. When done right, it can result in estimated energy savings of 10% to 20%.
Consider Upgrading Your AC
Sometimes, your energy bills are high because your AC needs to be upgraded. An upgrade may be required for a variety of reasons. For instance, if your AC malfunctions often and needs frequent repairs, it’s a sign that you need to replace it. Similarly, if the AC fails to sufficiently cool the indoor space, you may need an AC with a better capacity. Higher energy bills are another sign that the air-conditioner needs an upgrade or a replacement.
Paint the Walls Right
The color on the exterior and interior of your home plays a role in energy savings as well. If the exterior is painted a light color, it reflects light better. This means that less light and heat is absorbed by the walls. Similarly, light colors indoors reflect the heat and light back into the air. This keeps the walls and ceiling of your home cooler and your air-conditioning is able to cool the indoors quickly.
Contact an HVAC Professional About How to Reduce Air-Conditioning Costs
You can consult a professional Greenville HVAC contractor about how to reduce air-conditioning costs. Here at General Air, we have many years of experience in HVAC systems. We can service HVAC systems, help you with repairs and replacements, and also advise on energy-saving practices. If you wish to reduce your overall air-conditioning costs, contact us today. Our Greenville contractors will be with you briefly to discuss ways in which you can cut down costs.