Your air conditioning unit is important for your overall comfort. During the summer, it is even more imperative to keep the home cool and avoid suffering from effects of extreme heat exposure.
Unfortunately, using your AC for 24 hours comes with a price in the form of steeper and more expensive utility bills. In fact, studies have shown that air conditioning units are often responsible for as much as 50 percent of energy bills throughout the year.
For some individuals and families, these costs are outrageous. So, what can you do to lower the cost of your utility bills during the summer and save that money for other things? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Avoid Running the AC When No One is Home
You don’t need to keep the home cool when no one is around. Many people routinely do this in the hopes that they will walk into a cool home from the scorching sun. Well, if you’re looking to save costs, keeping the AC running when no one is at home isn’t going to help.
That energy is just being wasted. And if you’re concerned about suffering through the heat while waiting for the air conditioning unit to kick in, you should know that most modern units are built to start cooling within 20 seconds of coming on.
Invest in Blinds and Brighter Curtain Shades
Window blinds will help reduce the amount of heat coming in from the outside, leaving the home a little cooler. Also, brighter colored curtains made from light materials, like cotton, are known to reflect heat and sunshine as against to absorbing them.
Darker colored curtains absorb and retain heat. This is why you are often advised on wear only bright colored cotton materials during the summer. You could also invest in solar screens that you’ll place outside your windows.
These are known to intercept about 70 percent of the sun’s heat whilst also repelling insects. So, combining all three or two out of three means that you’ll get little or no heat coming in from the windows during the day.
Some recommend the use of window films to reflect much of the heat. The problem with this is you’ll need to close your windows, which means you’ll still have to turn your AC on full blast to keep the home/apartment cool.
Plant Trees Around the House
Okay, this is more of a long term plan, but it works because trees can provide shade that can provide some sort of cover for your house or significant parts of your compound. For instance, trees can provide shade for the windows, attic, doorway and even the AC.
According to the US Department of Energy, air conditioning units working under shades will increase their efficiency by 10 percent. If you can’t wait until your trees grow naturally, you can opt for purchasing some of those 15-20ft tall trees that you can find in nurseries.
Turn Up the AC at Night
Your air conditioner shouldn’t be running on full blast at night. Increase the temperature a bit at night –the US Department of Energy recommends 78 degrees Fahrenheit- and go to sleep.
This makes sense seeing as you’re less active at night. It will also result in 5-15 percent savings. Also, make sure to turn off the air conditioners in unoccupied rooms.
Use Your Fans
Turn on your fans to full speed and let them rip. And only use the fans in rooms where you have people. Many people make the mistake of leaving the fan running in the hopes that it will aid with the cooling. You can turn on the fan to help circulate the cool air produced by the AC and then turn off the AC while the fans run.
If your AC is not functioning at 100 percent capacity, then it may be time to call Bob Heinmiller AC for assistance. Signs of your AC not fully functioning could be irregular temperature changes, leakages, lack of cooling, and other subtle effects. If these seem persistent, then your AC most likely needs to be repaired.