Summer is the most dreaded time of year when it comes to electricity costs. Whether you have central air or window air conditioning units, the cost of consistent and regular air conditioning use to keep a comfortably cool temperature throughout the home becomes astronomical when compared to other times of the year. We know you want to act tough and think a rotating fan will be enough throughout the inevitable heat waves of the season, but come on, who are you kidding? Why should you have to choose between sweating it out or paying an arm and a leg to pay for the comfort of remaining cool and dry at home? Here are some tips from the professionals at AES.
Clean or Change your Air Filter and Clear your Drainage Line
Many people underestimate the importance of cleaning your air conditioning unit’s filter. Filters get clogged with dirt and dust over time. Since air needs to pass through, the more clogged your filter is, the more energy is used to push cold air past this blockage. Believe it or not, this may be very impactful on your energy bill. It also makes your air conditioner less effective, meaning it will take a longer period of time for you to feel cool. Keeping your air filter cleaned and changing it out regularly can save up to 15% on your electricity bill.
Just like your filter, your air conditioner’s drainage pipe can also get blocked, preventing the A/C from reducing indoor humidity. Be sure to clear and properly maintain the drainage pipe. You can ensure it doesn’t get moldy or grow mildew by pouring some bleach through each time you clear the line.
Install a Thermostat and Regulate Temperature
While you might like to keep the room a bit colder than just ‘comfortable’, adjusting the temperature of your unit up a few degrees can help you save on your electricity bill big time. You can save up to 10% by upping the temperature just 7-10 degrees, which is usually not a noticeable difference. Try wearing light, breathable clothing around the house and you won’t end up having to maintain frigid temperatures for comfort. Set timers for your unit to turn off/on in relation to your schedule so you’re not wasting energy cooling your home when you’re not around.
Use a Fan
We’re not telling you to ‘86 the air conditioner. That’d be absurd in the boiling summer months. Instead, while regulating the thermostat, consider using your ceiling fan or a standup fan to help circulate the cold air. This will help cool the place down faster and also help make the most efficient use of the cool air. When you add a fan into the mix, you’re creating a wind-chill effect that makes the place feel cooler, allowing you to lower the thermostat a few degrees without sacrificing any comfort.
Seal Cracks Under/Above Doors and Creases in Windows
This is a preventative measure that will help keep warm air from flowing into your home. Sealing any air leaks will keep the cool air in, and prevent warm air from slipping through. If you’re not sure about whether you have leaks or cracks that need to be sealed, use the dollar test. If the crack is large enough that you can pass a dollar bill through, it needs to be sealed. This will help you cut down on air conditioner usage, keeping cold air in and warm air out.
Being energy efficient in the Summer is both great for the environment, and will save you major bucks throughout the season. A few small adjustments in your home and to your habits will go a far way. Stay cool this season while you enjoy the extra savings!