As the warmest days of summer are upon you, it can be tempting to crank up the air-conditioning and sit back to enjoy the delightful relief of climate control. Your first energy bill, however, may have you wondering if there's anything you can do around the house to lower your cooling costs.
Luckily for you, there are! If saving money is your goal but you still want your house to be a comfortable temperature during the hot summer months, then here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Use the Right Thermostat the Right Way
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, consider investing in one. It’ll make it much easier for you to save money while also keeping your house comfortable. In fact, you can save up to 10 percent on your energy bill with a few tweaks to your thermostat.
Turning up your thermostat:
For one, set your thermostat to 78 F (as long as that’s cool enough to control the humidity in your home) instead of the regular 72 F for when everybody is home and awake in the mornings and evenings.
Turning off the A/C when it’s not needed:
Also, turn up the system at night when you're all asleep, during the day when you're out of the house, and when you go away on trips. Every degree you turn it up will help you with your goal of saving money. And thanks to the programmable thermostat, you can set your air-conditioning to come on an hour before you wake up and an hour before you come home, meaning you won’t have to suffer unbearable heat when the air-conditioning first turns on again.
Maximize the Efficiency of Your Cooling System
Using an energy-efficient unit:
Most people who live in warmer climates have an air conditioner as the centerpiece of their cooling system, so this device should be as efficient as possible. If you haven't upgraded to an energy-efficient unit, consider doing so next time you're due for an update. These units are designed to cool more efficiently and lose less energy, meaning you spend less to cool your home. Also, schedule regular air-conditioner maintenance to ensure it continues to run efficiently.
Help out your air conditioner with fans and ventilation:
Install ceiling fans in the most commonly used rooms in your house. These fans create a wind-chill effect that cools the people in the room, allowing you to turn up your thermostat without your family overheating. To save on energy costs, make sure you turn the fans off when the rooms aren't in use.
Always use the fans in the bathroom and shower when you're bathing and cooking because these will remove heat from the house. Just double check that the vents go outside, and not into your attic. Also, you should regularly clean all the vents and registers in your home to guarantee maximum air flow.
Check the House and Ducts for Leaks (aka Money Holes)
Prevent hot air leaking into your home:
One way that leaks can cost you money is because holes in the structure of your home allow cold air to escape and hot air to enter, meaning your cooling system has to work harder. Go around your entire home and look for leaks, sealing openings and cracks with caulk, and adding weather stripping to doors and windows.
Sealing cracks in your ducts:
Older homes are particularly prone to cracks in the ductwork, so if your home is more than ten years old, there's a good chance you're losing plenty of cold air through cracks. In fact, some sources estimate up to 40 percent of the cold air in your home seeps out through cracks, and this adds up to a lot of lost money.
Saving money on your cooling system is possible, and you just need the right equipment in place: efficiency is critical when it comes to thermostats, air conditioners, fans, and even ductwork.
For help installing new fans or units, or to have a professional examine your home for leaks, call The Plumbing Service Company, in Greensboro, NC today at (336) 502-8540.