Its almost summer time again, and that means the temperature outside is going to sky rocket. Your A/C unit can account for about half of your electric bill this summer, so how can you lower you summer electric bill or more explicitly, your air conditioning costs this summer?
There are many factors going into how efficiently you HVAC system is going to work this summer, but keeping a lower power bill is not as hard as it sounds. Here are some power saving tips to keep in mind to make your A/C system run more efficiently and reduce your power used this upcoming summer.
TIP # 1: LANDSCAPING
Keeping up with your yard isn’t only about how your home looks, but it is also an important factor in keeping your electric bill on the lower side. Radiant heat- the heat coming right from the sun- is beating down on your home all summer long. This is the heat that is putting a strain on your air conditioner and home. Shading your home with some trees on the sun-ward side might be a key factor in lowering your electric bill, if you are going to plant trees and/or shrubs near your A/C unit to keep it shaded, make sure you keep up with trimming them so that they don’t interfere with the unit. Shading your A/C unit with a cage could help the unit not only protect it from summer heat, but from summer storms as well.
TIP # 2: RUN YOUR A/C SMARTER.
Setting your air conditioner as high as comfortably possible and using a programmable thermostat that increases the temperature when you out and about can easily decrease your electric bill this summer by 10%. The smaller the difference is between your inside home temperature and the outside temperature, the less your bill is going to be. Keeping your A/C at 78 instead of 73 when you aren’t home (or even if you are and don’t mind the heat) could take as much as 18% of your bill.
TIP # 3: MAINTAIN YOUR HVAC SYSTEM
No matter what unit you have, if you do not properly care for your system it is not going to run efficiently, costing you money. Dirty filters can block air flow making your unit work harder to cool down your home, so cleaning and/or replacing your filters once a month can reduce your A/C energy consumption by 5-10%. For central cooling systems, make sure that the floor registers are not blocked by furniture or debris. Condenser and evaporator coils (located on the outside unit) should also be clear of dirt and debris, and and any foliage around the unit should be at least two feet away. Calling you local HVAC company to come service your unit may be a safer bet if you are unsure on how to keep the unit clean, and they will be able to tell you anything about your unit to keep it running efficiently.
TIP # 4: AVOID HEAT BUILDUP
When the temperature outside of your home exceeds the temperature inside, it’s best to avoid activities that give off a lot of heat, such as using the dishwasher, clothes dryer, or cooking on the stove stop. Instead try using a grill outside, hand washing dishes and hang drying clothing. if you cant avoid using these appliances, try using them more at night instead of the day since temperatures are lower then. using computers and TV’s also build up heat in your home, so by simply using them less your A/C has an easier time cooling your home.