Are you burdened by skyrocketing utility bills this summer? To cut AC costs without sacrificing comfort, you should adopt energy-saving habits, implement low-cost changes and make strategic long-term investments. Here are 15 proven tips to try.
Cutting AC costs may be easier than you think. Here are some completely free ways to ease your monthly utility bills:
1. Keep curtains and blinds closed: About 76 percent of the sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows enters as heat. By closing out the sun by pulling insulating curtains and blinds over your south- and west-facing windows, you minimize solar heat gain in the afternoon and reduce the need for air conditioning.
2. Turn up the temperature: You can save up to three percent on your cooling bills for each degree you raise the temperature. Try setting your thermostat a little higher than usual and running a fan to make up the difference.
3. Switch off the lights when not in use: Lights, especially incandescent bulbs, produce a lot of heat. Turning them off when you leave the room reduces the interior heat gain your AC 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 technique lightens your AC’s load during the hot afternoon, lowering your bill and improving home comfort.
5. Run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans: Remove heat and humidity while cooking and showering to reduce the workload on your air conditioner.
If you’re willing to spend a few dollars, you can put an even bigger dent in your air conditioning costs. Here are some low-cost upgrades to consider:
6. Install a programmable thermostat: If you still have a manual thermostat, consider upgrading. A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature based on your schedule. You can cut AC costs by up to 10 percent by setting the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day. Thanks to automatic recovery periods, you can enjoy these savings without inconvenience or discomfort.
7. Schedule regular maintenance: Your air conditioner requires regular checkups to make sure it runs properly and efficiently. Maintenance visits every spring also offer a chance to detect and resolve minor issues before they grow into expensive repairs. This small, predictable cost provides a significant return on investment through improved efficiency and prolonged equipment life span.
8. Seal leaks: In many homes, leaky windows and doors are responsible for about 25 percent of its cooling energy use. Seal those pesky leaks with caulk and weatherstripping.
9. Add reflective window film: Window film reflects the sun’s rays to the exterior, reducing solar heat gain. This budget-friendly upgrade is a great way to improve your older windows’ efficiency without replacing them.
10. Upgrade to LED lights: LEDs produce almost no heat and use far less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These qualities help keep your home cooler and reduce lighting costs as well.
If you’re ready to make more significant changes, explore the following investments to cut AC costs in the long run:
11. Insulate the attic: Hot air can seep through the ceiling if your attic isn’t sufficiently insulated. Peek inside the attic, and if you don’t see a thick, even layer of insulation, consider adding more. Depending on what type 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 creates a cool microclimate around your home, naturally reducing your cooling needs.
13. Replace your windows: Old, single-pane windows let in a lot of heat, making your AC to work harder. Installing double- or triple-pane windows with advanced glazing features improves your home’s air-tightness and keeps the interior cooler.
14. Upgrade your AC system: Running an aging air conditioner costs more 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 cooling costs. The savings potential of this purchase is even higher 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 appliances. The ongoing savings, combined with tax incentives available through 2035, make this a worthwhile investment.
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we go the extra mile to deliver exceptional HVAC services that help cut air conditioning costs in the long run. Because of our high-quality products, Expert knowledge, and attention to detail, we feel confident backing our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about how we can help reduce your summer AC costs, please reach out to the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Schedule your appointment by calling 866-397-3787 today!
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