How to Reduce Your AC Bill in the Summer
The summer months can be a costly time for homeowners, especially when it comes to air conditioning bills. The average household can spend hundreds of dollars a year on air conditioning, with extreme heat waves increasing this cost even further. This makes it important to find ways to reduce the cost of your AC bill before it gets too high. Here are some great tips to help you learn how toeffectively reduce your AC bill without sacrificing your home’s comfort.
Adjust Your Thermostat
One of the easiest ways to reduce your air conditioning bill is to adjust your thermostat. During the day, especially if no one is home, try to keep your thermostat set at a higher temperature. You may be surprised at how comfortable you can be in a slightly warmer environment. At night, you can lower your thermostat to a more comfortable temperature, as homes naturally release the heat they’ve been absorbing during the day — but still not as low as you might normally go. This will likely take some getting used to, especially if you’re more accustomed to chillier indoor temperatures, but you would be surprised how quickly you won’t even notice the difference after a short while.
Use Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can help to circulate the air in your home, which can make you feel cooler without having to turn down your thermostat. If you have ceiling fans, be sure to use them in the summer months. Also, be sure your ceiling fans are spinning in the right direction! Just about every ceiling fan has a switch that allows you to reverse the direction they spin. Ensure they’re set to spin counterclockwise in the summer months to circulate warm air away from you; you can reverse them in cooler weather to keep your home warmer.
Seal Up Air Leaks
Air leaks around windows and doors can allow hot air into your home, making your air conditioner work harder and creating a billthat’s way too high. This reduces the efficiency of your home’s ability to stay cool and keep you comfortable. Seal any air leaks with caulk or weatherstripping to keep your cool air inside and keep that warm, uncomfortably humid air on the outside where it belongs!
Insulate Your Home
Insulation is usually considered crucial for keeping your home warm in the winter, but it also plays an essential role in the summer months as well. Proper insulation can help to keep your home cooler in the summer by preventing heat transfer both into your home and back out of it, which can save you money on your energy bills year-round. If your home is not well-insulated, consider adding insulation to your attic, walls, and floors. This will keep the temperature within your home more stable, which means your air conditioner will not have to work nearly as hard to regulate it to whatever it’s set to. You may need to pay someone to add the insulation, but it’ll be worth it when for years to come your home is better insulated.
Close Your Blinds and Curtains During the Day
Have you ever been inside a greenhouse? All that glass traps heat very well, to the point where it can be quite hot and humid inside a greenhouse even in the middle of winter. The windows on your home work the same way. The sun’s rays can heat your home quickly when they come through your windows, so it’s important to close your blinds and curtains during the day to keep out the heat. You can also open your windows at night to let in the cooler air, which means you won’t need to run your air conditioner as much at night.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can help you save money on your energy bills by automatically adjusting your thermostat’s temperature based on your schedule. For example, you can program your thermostat to turn down the temperature when you’re asleep or away from home, as there’s no need to cool your home if there’s no one there. Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats even allow you to control your air conditioning when you’re not at home, so you can turn your AC back on in time to have the place cooler by your return.
Get an AC Tune-up
As with any advanced piece of equipment, things can go wrong with your AC system. Sometimes they are completely minor and easily resolved. They may not stop a system from functioning at all, but they may stop it from running at its optimum efficiency.
This is why it’s important to get a pre-season tune-up. A professional with your best interest in mind can tune-up your equipment to ensure it is ready to go for a hot Delaware summer. Ongoing maintenance also ensures that your system will continue running well for many years to go, hot summer after hot summer.
Consider Other Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill
Sometimes you can’t avoid keeping your AC bill high during particularly hot Delaware summers, but you can attempt to keep your electric bill lower overall during these periods, by saving through other means.
If you can’t prevent your AC from pumping during heat waves, you can compensate with these general energy saving-tips:
- Wash your clothes in cold water: Most of the energy used to wash clothes goes to heating the water, so by using cold water, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption. This may not always be possible, depending on how soiled your clothes are or if they list hot water on their care instructions, but you can easily do a smaller load of clothes that need hot water and then wash the rest of your clothes in cold water instead.
- Unplug Electronics When You’re Not Using Them: Even when they’re turned off, many electronics continue to draw power, which is known as “phantom load.” To reduce your energy consumption, unplug electronics when you’re not using them. This includes things like TVs, computers, and chargers. This won’t directly reduce the amount of money you’ll have to spend on your air conditioning, but it will reduce your overall electric bill. Every little bit counts, especially when you’re experiencing a heat wave!
- Air-Dry Your Clothes: Your tumble dryer uses quite a bit of electricity to run, which contributes directly to your electric bill being higher. Additionally, the heat generated by your dryer can increase the temperature inside your home, which in turn means you’ll need more air conditioning to reduce that heat. Instead of using the dryer, hang your clothes outside to dry. This will save you money on your energy bills and is also better for the environment. Just be sure to keep an eye on the weather, so your clothes don’t get caught in a summer rainstorm!
- Take Shorter Showers: Showers account for a significant portion of household water usage, especially if you have an electric water heater. Taking shorter showers can save you money on your water bill as well as reducing your energy consumption. Aim to take showers that are no longer than five minutes or so. This may be hard if you enjoy taking long, luxurious showers, but the benefit is clear when taking shorter showers contributes to an AC bill that isn’t too high.
By following these tips, you’ll have an excellent outline for how you can reduce your air conditioning bill this summer, as well as save money on your energy costs.
Also keep in mind the vital step of having a professional assess your air conditioning system to ensure it’s still running as efficiently as possible. A tune-up can keep it energy efficient, or there may be a maintenance need that once fixed can have it running more smoothly. Or you may be in need of a new, more energy efficient system.
With more than 70 years building relationships in the area, you can trust Burns & McBride for an honest assessment, check-up, and/or tune-up of your system. Contact us now to ask us questions or schedule a visit.