Are you making these air conditioning mistakes?
Things are heating up this summer, and chances are your energy costs are inevitably going to go up. Home-energy monitoring company, Sense, reports the average cost to air condition a home in the United States is about $147.82. This figure varies widely based on geography, with a median cost of $292.90 per home in the Sun Belt and $95 per home bordering Canada. Most homeowners need to air condition their homes at least for some part of the summer, but there are ways to do so and save.
Here are three ways to control your air conditioning this summer and cut down on energy costs.
Change the settings on your unit – like most homeowners, you probably set it and forget it. However, small changes to the settings can save you in the long run. For example, if you set your air conditioner too low, you may be triggering a back-up heating system meant for use during the winter. Additionally, setting the unit too low may be causing it to work overtime and shortening the lifespan of your unit. Be mindful of how low you really need to set it to feel the impact.
Make small changes to your environment – something as simple as closing the blinds on sunlit windows can cool down your home. When you’re cooking on the stove, make sure to open a window or use a vent to reduce the hot air generated. Ceiling fans may feel like they’re doing the trick but be careful with those too. Some ceiling fans can cause cool air to escape the home and thus send your air conditioner into overdrive working harder. Regular duct cleaning and replacing filters will allow air to flow freely without any obstruction.
Get the right size unit for your home – if your air conditioner is too large, it’s using too much power cycling on and off. On the other hand, if your air conditioner is too small, it’s running constantly and wearing itself out. Be mindful of the age of your unit as well. Sense estimates air conditioners lose 5% efficiency each year. If your home’s system is fifteen to twenty years old, you’ll save more replacing the unit.
Higher temperatures don’t have to mean significantly higher utilities bills! Being proactive about your air conditioning usage and maintaining your unit can substantially reduce your energy costs. Have a good summer – and stay cool!