Are you stressed by skyrocketing utility costs this summer? To slash AC costs without sacrificing comfort, you should adopt energy-saving behaviors, implement low-cost changes and make strategic long-term investments. Here are 15 proven techniques to use.
Adopt Good Energy Habits
Cutting cooling system expenses may be easier than you think. Here are some totally free ways to ease your monthly power bills:
1. Keep curtains and blinds closed: Roughly 76 percent of the sunlight that streams onto standard double-pane windows enters as heat. By closing out the sun with insulating curtains and blinds over your south- and west-facing windows, you cut down on solar heat gain in the afternoon and reduce the demand for air conditioning.
2. Turn up the temperature: You can save up to three percent on your cooling expenses for each degree you raise the temperature. Try establishing a temperature on your thermostat a tad higher than usual and using a fan to make up the difference.
3. Turn off the lights when not in use: Lights, especially incandescent bulbs, produce quite a lot of heat. Turning them off when you aren't in the space reduces the interior heat gain your air conditioner must combat.
4. Use appliances wisely: Wait to use heat-generating appliances like the oven, dryer and dishwasher until the cooler part of the day. This approach lightens your AC’s load during the hot afternoon, bringing down your bill and improving home comfort.
5. Run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans: Get rid of heat and humidity while cooking and showering to reduce the workload on your air conditioning.
Invest in Low-Cost Upgrades
If you’re willing to part with a few dollars, you can put an even larger dent in your cooling expenses. Here are some affordable improvements to consider:
6. Set up a programmable thermostat: If you still have a manual thermostat, look into upgrading. A programmable thermostat automatically changes the temperature depending on your daily schedule. You can cut AC expenditures by up to 10 percent by setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours per day. Thanks to automatic recovery periods, you can experience these savings without hassle or discomfort.
7. Schedule regular maintenance: Your air conditioning needs regular checkups to make sure it runs effectively and efficiently. Maintenance visits every spring also offer a chance to detect and resolve little issues before they grow into expensive repairs. This small, predictable expense provides a substantial return on investment through greater efficiency and can lengthen the unit's life.
8. Seal leaks: In many homes, leaky windows and doors cause about 25 percent of its cooling energy use. Fix those troublesome leaks with caulk and weatherstripping.
9. Install reflective window film: Window film reflects the sun’s rays to the outside, decreasing solar heat gain. This affordable upgrade is a very good way to increase your older windows’ efficiency without updating them.
10. Upgrade to LED lights: LEDs generate almost no heat and utilize far less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These attributes help keep your home more comfortable and cut down on lighting costs as well.
Consider Long-Term Home Investments
If you’re looking93 to make more significant modifications, consider the following investments to cut AC costs in the long run:
11. Insulate the attic: Hot air can get through the ceiling if your attic is not sufficiently insulated. Take a look inside the attic, and if you don’t see a deep, even layer of insulation, consider adding more. Depending on what form of insulation you choose, you may need to hire a professional for the job.
12. Plant trees for natural shade: Planting leafy trees on the south and west sides of your house blocks sunlight and produces a cool microclimate around your home, naturally reducing your cooling requirements.
13. Replace your windows: Old, single-pane windows let in quite a bit of heat, forcing your air conditioner to work harder. Replacing single-pane windows with double- or triple-pane windows with state-of-the-art glazing features elevates your home’s air-tightness and keeps the interior cooler.
14. Upgrade your AC system: Running an aging air conditioner is more costly than you might think. Upgrading from a decade-old 10 SEER model to a modern 15 SEER unit can save you 33 percent on your AC expenses. The savings capacity of this purchase is even greater if you’re willing to invest more up front.
15. Install solar panels: Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to power your AC unit and other electric devices. The ongoing savings, combined with tax incentives available through 2035, make this a valuable investment.
Save More on Your AC in Fort Myers With Help From Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we make the extra step to make sure our customers get133 top-notch HVAC services that help decrease air conditioning costs in the long run. Because of our high-quality products, Expert knowledge and attention to detail, we feel very comfortable backing our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about how we can help lower your summer air conditioning expenses, please get in touch with the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. Schedule your appointment today by calling 239-908-6991!