Anyone who lives in Texas knows all about needing air conditioning in the hot summer. They also know that life-saving cooling air can get pricey, with high utility bills the end of the month.
Luckily, there are ways to save money on staying cool. Here are ten simple tips to help save energy this summer:
- Keep the temperature higher
Even though it may sound a little bit contradictory, you don’t need to set your thermostat very low to get a cooler environment. Setting the thermostat to 73°F to 78°F can save a great deal of energy.
- Appliances away from the thermostat
Keep lamps, television sets, computers and other heat-generating items away from the thermostat. The thermostat is heat-sensitive so if there are any heat-generating devices near it, it will work harder to keep the temperature down and the A/C running longer than needed.
- Check your ducts and insulation
Leaks and cracks in your ducts can cost a small fortune in escaped air. Sealing those leaks will cut down on your electricity bill.
Another place to check for leaks is the chimney. After many seasons, the chimney damper can become deformed and not seal your chimney properly. If your damper leaks, call an expert to either change it or to install a chimney balloon. Once the chimney is sealed, cool air will stay inside.
It’s a good idea to check the insulation around your house, especially in areas where you don’t need cold air, like the attic. It is recommended that you have a contractor or a utility provider do an inspection. They can assess how well your home is insulated and make recommendations on how to improve energy usage.
- Avoid incoming heat from the windows
As important as turning off your lights or changing your light bulbs to LED to reduce heat from inside, preventing the outside heat from coming inside can make a difference in your electricity bill. An effective and inexpensive remedy is to close the blinds, or you can even hang sheer drapes (if you still want the light to get in).
Investing in double-glazed windows will reduce the amount of heat getting into your home.
- Use Fans
Do you have your AC on and still feel hot? Fans don’t use so much energy as the air conditioner, and they can be a great backup! Try using a fan to help the AC do its work more efficiently! Fans improve fresh air circulation, and you can even set your thermostat a few degrees higher.
- No one home?
When you’re not home, close all the blinds and set the thermostat to a high temperature. Even though it may be a bit hot when you get back home, your AC will get your home cool again, and you’ll use less energy overall.
- Check the filters
As you use the air conditioner, all sorts of debris and dust can get stuck in the filters. Over time, the filter can get clogged and restrict the airflow. When airflow has been compromised, your unit has to use more energy to keep the air cool. It’s a good idea to check the filters and clean or replace the filters every month or so.
- Rearrange your furniture
Check to see if there’s any furniture blocking the air conditioning vents. If possible, rearrange the furniture to improve airflow. You can also buy vent deflectors (those small plastic dome-shaped pieces that redirect the air).
- Keep a professional maintenance schedule
It’s good advice to keep your AC unit well-maintained. Having a qualified professional perform yearly check-ups and maintenance will extend the life of your unit and keep it performing at its best. The experts will make sure the drains are clear and that the parts are clean and functioning well. Professional maintenance will lead to a more efficient AC, will save energy and could also prevent having major repairs down the road.
- Change your old AC
Old AC units use more energy to work. After years of service, your unit can become less and less efficient. Getting a new one and keeping it well-maintained might be the best option to save energy costs.
Extra tip: Install a dehumidifier!
In terms of cooling, humidity is the enemy! Those small particles of water hold a lot of heat. The central air unit works by taking out moisture from the air. Cooing the air takes less energy if the humidity levels are lower.
For prompt and reliable air conditioner repair and maintenance, call the experts Forney Air at (214) 924-9745.
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