Air conditioning is used the most on the days that have the highest temperatures, which can make cooling expenses turn out to be higher than anticipated. In some instances, costs could double in warmer months because cooling expenses can make up nearly half of a utility bill. Some electricity customers pay based on a variable rate, which means that the cost of electricity can fluctuate over the course of the day. The cost of air conditioning can become very expensive when the demand increases, which can occur when many people are using A/C at the same time. Reducing AC usage in the summer is beneficial for the planet due to the decrease in carbon emissions. It’s important to always look for ways to reduce electricity usage, but in the summer peak time, it’s especially vital, as utility companies often have to utilize the coal plants that are the dirtiest when demand is high. Fortunately, there are numerous direct methods of reducing electricity use in the summer through cutting air conditioning costs. We’ve included our most recommended tips below.
10 Tips to Reduce HVAC Costs in the Summer
1. Tune up or replace your air conditioner.
If your AC filter is clogged, it might be operating on 5-15% less useful than it could be and a clogged filter might cause the unit to break down. A quick tune-up could save a great deal of energy.
2. Modify your thermostat settings.
Many individuals don’t consider the impact that thermostat adjustments can make. Even though the weather may be scorching, adjusting the thermostat just a few degrees can add up to significant savings.
If you’re planning on being away from the house during the hottest time of the day, don’t leave the A/C on full blast – consider adjusting it to between 78-82 degrees.
A thermostat that is programmable is helpful if you don’t want to have to remember to change it before leaving the house.
3. Consider using a fan in addition to the A/C.
Fans can save money on electricity costs as they can push the cold air around the house and can cool additional rooms. Since fans only use about 1/60th of the energy that an air conditioner does, it is more energy efficient to use a fan along with the A/C.
The thermostat can likely be lowered significantly with the use of the fan. Ceiling fans that have angled blades will help to push the air down on you.
4. Consider sleeping with your windows open.
Cross-ventilation at night can cool down the house further so that A/C doesn’t have to work as hard cooling down the hot air inside. This advice is especially beneficial for regions that tend to be more dry and cooler during nighttime hours.
5. If you’re not using the A/C, turn it off.
If you are cooling rooms and don’t end up using them, the cold air is being wasted. It can be easy to forget to turn off the thermostat before leaving for work, school, or even when going away for the weekend.
Many programmable thermostats are relatively inexpensive and can help remedy this issue.
6. Install blinds or curtains if you don’t have them already.
This step can give your air conditioning unit a significant break as sunny rooms tend to become heated much quicker than rooms that aren’t.
Even curtains that are light in color can help divert sunlight from heating up your house.
7. Add a little greenery.
Shade from plants can also help increase the efficiency of your air conditioning unit by 10%, mainly if the plants provide shade for the unit throughout the day.
Also, having trees or shrubs below windows on the west and south sides of your home can aid with heat absorption and can block some direct sunlight from coming in.
Plants also transpire water from their leaves, which can make the shade even cooler. Living organisms tend to absorb less heat and sunlight than other surfaces do, like a house’s roof and walls.
Surfaces tend to radiate warmth when it’s hot, like the way a sidewalk does after the sun has been beating down on it all day.
8. Try not to use your large kitchen appliances, if possible.
Summer is the perfect time to grill because cooking outside means that not much of the heat will be able to enter your home and make it even hotter. Cooking with the stove can bring a great deal of unwanted heat into your home if you’re not careful, and your A/C may have to work twice as hard.
9. Consider light colors when your roof becomes due for a replacement.
In a similar way that a dark car or shirt can get hotter, dark roofs tend to overheat the rooms that are underneath. Under the hot summer sun, a dark roof can become as hot as 150°F or above.
On the contrary, roofs that are constructed with reflective material or that are light colors could be up to 50°F cooler.
10. Equip your home to be better able to keep warmer air out.
Strategies for sealing home construction includes air barriers, ductwork that’s sealed tightly, insulation, and glazing or shading windows. Solar screens can utilize 70% of the energy from the sun before it coming into your house. You can contact your local HVAC company for assistance. The use of domestic air conditioning has become widespread – so much so that air conditioning expenses account for about 6% of household energy use. This figure might be considered low, but it’s deceptive as other appliances (like refrigeration and light use) expend energy on a more consistent basis.
Reducing how much people depend on air conditioning 24/7 can dramatically help the planet reduce the output of carbon emissions. With these tips, it can be simple to reduce electricity usage and keep your house cool.