Summer is just around and that means nice warm weather and hot sunny days. It also means air conditioning….and high summer electric bills. Here are 5 tips to help you lower your summer utility bill.
- Keep curtains and blinds shut. Windows, especially if you have not replaced them with new energy-efficient windows, are one of the largest sources of heat gain in your home. When the heat comes in thru the windows, it makes your air conditioning unit work longer and harder increasing your electric bill.
- Flip the fan switch on your thermostat to on. Most of people run the fan on our HVAC system only when we need heating and cooling. By keeping a constant circulation of air, the temperature in the house will be remain more consistent by mixing the cooler air from one part of the house with warmer air from another part and redistributing it to create an even temperature. (Side note…a new furnace with an ECM or variable speed fan will be significantly less to operate than the old PSC fan.)
- Install a programmable thermostat. When you are away allow the temperature in the house to climb 4 or 5 degrees higher. It will allow your A/C unit to run less and save you some money. You can now even get your programmable thermostat with WiFi connectivity to better control the comfort to a flexible schedule.
- Have your A/C unit professionally serviced on a yearly basis. Most people do it with their cars, and should do it with their A/C unit. A professional will check the refrigerant levels, the amperage of the compressor and fan motor, tighten and check all wiring connections and clean the outdoor condenser. Any problems will decrease the efficiency of the A/C unit and will cost you more in monthly utility bills.
- Make sure registers or dampers are open and duct work is clean. If the registers are not open, you are not delivering the maximum possible air flow. In addition, dirty ducts can reduce the amount of air flow by up to 30%. Either of these will cause the A/C unit to work longer and harder…increasing your utility bills.
And as a bonus…the 6th and possibly best way to reduce your summer cooling cost is to install a new HVAC system if your current system is older than 10 years old. Upgrading these old pieces of equipment could save you more than 30% on your cooling cost.