Ways to Lower Your Air Conditioning Costs This Summer
Keeping your home cool and comfortable is a little bit harder here in Arizona than it is in most other parts of the world. As summer temperatures regularly rise over 100°F, some people feel like they’re choosing the lesser of two evils between a hot home and expensive utility bills. Running your air conditioner on full blast all day will dramatically increase the cost of your energy bills, and it’s also hard on the equipment. Save yourself some money and increase the lifespan of your unit by following these tips to reduce your AC costs.
Master Your AC Settings
Experiment with your air conditioner settings to find the highest temperature that’s still comfortable for you and your family. Even raising the thermostat by a few degrees during the summer can have a noticeable effect on your next energy bill. Some people have noticed that gradually raising the temperature in their homes helps them adjust without ever feeling uncomfortably hot.
If you’re planning to be out of the house for several hours (when you go to work or somewhere else), that might be a good time to raise the temperature a little bit and give your AC a break. If you take a long summer vacation, you can definitely save some money by turning your system off as you leave town. Do keep in mind that turning your AC to an especially cold setting won’t cool the house any faster when you get home. Just put it at the normal temperature, and your home should get comfortable quickly as long as the system is running efficiently.
Adjusting your thermostat to meet your needs will be even easier if you have a smart thermostat. The same is true if you have zoned heating and cooling. For example, you can program your AC to let the house heat up while you’re at work, then get it cool again before you come home. The zoned heating and cooling allows you to turn off the AC at night in all parts of the house except for occupied bedrooms.
Use a Fan
Ceiling fans and other fans can make a room feel several degrees cooler by generating a little bit of wind chill. If your home doesn’t have fans in the rooms, you can add inexpensive options to the places you spend the most time. For example, you can put a fan by your bed, near your favorite seat, and next to your desk. Get fans you plan on keeping for years, and there is a good chance they’ll eventually pay for themselves by reducing your utility bills.
Just remember that fans don’t actually make rooms any cooler– they only make people more comfortable by generating wind. There’s absolutely no point in running a fan when no one is in the room, so only turn them on when you need them. Running fans in an empty room will waste energy and raise your utility bills, which defeats the purpose of using them.
Block the Sun
Natural light is great, but so is saving money on your energy bills. You can help keep your house cool just by blocking out some of the sunlight, and there are multiple ways to do this. If you’re already planning a landscaping project, consider adding trees that will shade your home. Curtains, blinds, and shades can also prevent a lot of heat gain.
If you can’t stand blocking your windows because you love being able to see your side, you might want to add window tint to your home. This is more expensive than closing the blinds, but adding window tint will offer long-term savings and increase the value of your home. It’s worth the investment for people who want to lower their utility bills without feeling shut off from the outside world.
Professional AC maintenance will save you money on your utility bills by maximizing the efficiency of your unit. An HVAC contractor will make sure everything is working properly and make adjustments as needed. Without the right experience and equipment, most people can’t diagnose problems like evaporator coil issues, low refrigerant levels, and blocked condenser coils until they become severe. Catching things early will reduce the strain on your system and save you money on your energy bills.
As an added bonus, you’ll save money in the long run by catching and correcting problems quickly. A simple AC tune-up now could prevent costly repairs down the road. Routine AC maintenance is extremely affordable compared to a new HVAC unit, and it will give you peace of mind during the hottest days of the year.
Upgrade Your Windows
Upgrading the windows in your home is more of a long-term investment, but most people notice the difference in their utility bills almost immediately. If your windows are old, damaged, or drafty, they’re making your home lose its temperature a lot faster than it should. New windows are designed to be especially efficient, so they can do a good job keeping the heat out and keeping the cool air in your home. If you’ve been putting off buying new windows for a few years, now might be a good time to make the investment and start reducing your air conditioning costs.
Replace AC Filters
If you get regular AC tune-ups, there’s a good chance your HVAC contractors are replacing the filters when they come out. Even so, it’s a good idea to check on this yourself from time to time. Almost everyone can easily clean or replace their air conditioner filters by themselves, and it’s recommended to do this at least every few months.
People with hairy pets, kids, allergies, or respiratory problems may want to change their filters as frequently as every month. Dirty filters can hurt the air quality in your home and also prevent airflow. The reduction of circulation will make your system less efficient, so it will have to work harder (and use more energy) to cool your home.
Know When It’s Time to Replace Your AC
Buying a new HVAC system isn’t most people’s idea of saving money. There’s some upfront cost involved, but a high-efficiency air conditioner will help pay for itself. If your old unit is burning a lot of energy, you can lower your utility bills by upgrading now. Ask a trustworthy air conditioning professional if your AC can be fixed or if it’s time for a new one.
AC Maintenance Available in Phoenix from Howard Air Conditioning
At Howard Air Conditioning, we serve the Valley of the Sun from our location in Phoenix. We’ll come to your home in Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, or any of the surrounding areas. Our experienced HVAC professionals will always give you an honest and informed opinion about what you can do to save money both now and in the long run. If that means an inexpensive AC tune-up, we’ll be happy to maximize the efficiency of your unit for you. When it’s time to upgrade to a more efficient air conditioner, we can handle that, too. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can lower your air conditioning costs this summer.
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