9 Ways to Lower Cooling Costs This Summer
The sweltering heat in Louisiana can make anybody feel uncomfortable, especially homeowners. While most people expect higher energy costs in the summer, the rising temperatures are enough to make one worry about just how much higher the cost will be. The hot weather does come with a price but with some preparation you can cut down on your cooling bill because that’s definitely the last thing that you need to sweat about. Since we do like to be cool but would also like to keep some of our hard earned money, here are 9 tips that will help you use less energy in these summer months and save you money on your utilities.
1. Adjust your thermostat
It may seem easy to keep the thermostat on a low temperature all day to create a comfortable home but raising the temperature just a couple of degrees can save you money and even prolong the life of you’re A/C unit. When you are away, raise the temperature of your home. Remember though, if you have animals don’t raise it too much because we want to keep our fur babies happy and safe too. Instead of having to remember to raise the temperature while you are away and then lower it when you come home, the best and easiest option is to get a programmable thermostat. Then take some time to set it to raise and lower the temperature throughout the day for you. That’s one less thing that you would have to worry about, because you already have so much going on anyway.
2. Using a Fan is a breeze
Using ceiling fans or even portable fans is a great way to cut down on cooling costs and can work wonders for cooling you down. Fans use roughly 1/60th the energy of an air conditioner, so even using both at the same time is efficient if you raise the thermostat.
3. Keep the sun out
The sun is a wonderful thing except when trying to keep your home cool. Sunlight coming through your windows will heat up your room like a greenhouse in no time. To keep costs down and the cool factor up, close the window blinds or curtains to keep the cool air in and the heat out.
4. Bulk up on shade
Planting trees or shrubs in front of windows, can not only block the sunlight from entering your home, but can absorb the heat and help provide a cool surrounding environment from their transpiration, or water loss from leaves. They also absorb much less sunlight and heat than other building surfaces (including your walls and roof) which radiate heat day and night after a sunny day.
5. Seal leaks
The seals around your home’s windows and doors are crucial to maintaining a comfortable temperature. If there are cracks in these areas, conditioned air can easily escape your home and hot, humid air can easily enter. Also have a professional check duct work in the attic for leaks because properly sealed and insulated ducts can cut the cost of cooling a home. Besides, who wants to waste money cooling the attic?
6. Cook outside – or not at all
It’s hot in the kitchen! Stoves and ovens can raise your kitchen’s temperature up 10 degrees. Cook outside on the grill or eat chilled foods to avoid making your A/C work harder. The microwave is also a better option than the stove or oven because it produces only a fraction of the heat.
7. Consider different lighting
Be careful which lights you choose. Incandescent bulbs turn 90% of the energy they use into heat. Consider replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, which operate at a lower wattage and produce only half as much heat. LED bulbs also use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional bulbs, saving you money on electricity and replacement costs.
8. Take care of filters
Change or replace filters. Clearing a clogged A/C unit filter alone can save 5 to 15 percent in energy use and will help the unit work better and not break down.
9. System Maintenance
This is perhaps the easiest on the list and most important. Your HVAC system should be checked by a professional regularly to ensure that your system is working properly. Regular checks can catch any small issues before they become large problems, but can also ensure it is running as efficiently as possible. With a healthy HVAC system, you shouldn’t have to worry about outrageous cooling bills during the summer months.
Here’s to a summer full of amazing air conditioning and lower cooling costs! Advanced Air Conditioning and Heating is here for all of your HVAC needs….including that system maintenance!