As the temperature rises, so do the energy costs associated with keeping your home cool and comfortable. Running the air conditioner constantly can be expensive. Here are a few money-saving tips to help you reduce cooling costs this summer.
Keep Your Thermostat at 78 Degrees
Homeowners who can tolerate a mild temperature should set the air conditioning system’s thermostat to 78 during the day. By raising your thermostat by just six degrees, you save between 12% and 18% on monthly energy bills.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats reduce cooling costs by adjusting the interior temperature according to your habits. This technology can “learn” when you are home or away and adjust the interior temperature so the home is still comfortable, without you needing to adjust the thermostat manually. Smart thermostats can be managed from an app on your smartphone, allowing you to change the temperature of your home even when you’re away.
Shade the Windows to Reduce Cooling Costs
Blocking sunlight from warming the interior of your house will lower the temperature throughout your living spaces. Trees or tall shrubbery in front of windows will help, but so does drawing the blinds, closing curtains, or putting up an awning. Sun-blocking window film is also available and can be cut to any size window for an easy DIY project.
Take Advantage of Ceiling Fans
On a cost-per-day basis, ceiling fans are substantially cheaper than running an air conditioner. Depending on the price of electricity in your area, on average it costs less than $0.08 to run a ceiling fan for eight hours. This is compared with approximately $3.84 to run an air conditioning unit for the same amount of time. By using your ceiling fans in conjunction with the air conditioning system, the thermostat can be set 5-6 degrees higher and you’ll still be comfortable indoors. Set the ceiling fans to rotate in a counterclockwise direction in the summer to produce a cooling wind-chill effect.
Maintain the AC System to Reduce Cooling Costs
For optimal performance, the air conditioning system should be checked regularly for maintenance issues. Keeping up with the maintenance, including regularly changing the filter will reduce cooling costs, extend the lifespan of the unit, and keep your home comfortable all summer long.
Change Incandescent Light Bulbs
Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs don’t generate as much heat and so cost less to operate. Purchasing LEDs will be slightly more expensive than standard incandescents, but you’ll save money in the long term because LEDs use less electricity and last longer.
Reduce Cooling Costs by Repairing Gaps and Cracks
Check for spaces where cool air escapes your home. Old weather stripping, gaps around windows and doors, or an under-insulated attic all contribute to making the air conditioner work harder than it needs to. Add insulation and replace old or missing weatherstripping and fill gaps and cracks with caulk to help reduce cooling costs.