There’s still a good month of summer left — and even as we transition into fall, you may find that you still need your AC unit running to feel comfortable in your home. While our air conditioners keep us nice and cool during those sizzling days, using them comes with a cost. If your bills are already as high as the temperatures outside, you might want to pay attention to the following tips. They should help you keep your cool and keep your costs low.
Adjust Your Temperature Settings
Having a programmable thermostat takes a lot of the work out of this process. It allows you to make adjustments automatically to ensure you aren’t wasting energy when you aren’t home. But you can still fiddle around with the maximum temperature to assess where your comfort threshold is and balance that against the costs of lower settings. If you’re trying to save money, try adjusting the temperature to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at home and active and 82 degrees Fahrenheit during the nighttime when everyone is sleeping. From there, you can determine whether these settings are just too hot for your family to be comfortable or whether you can handle a higher temperature to save some cash. Remember to adjust these settings one degree at a time and allow the system to adjust. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting even more energy during the adjustment process.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
Around 68% of all occupied U.S. homes had residential air conditioning in 1993, and that percentage has now increased to approximately 75%, according to Energy.gov. But even if you have central air, you can use your home’s ceiling fans to make more effective use of it. Using fans like these, as well as box fans, will help circulate the cool air and make occupants feel more comfortable. They also don’t use a lot of energy, meaning that you may actually be able to increase the temperature on your thermostat and use your fans to make up the difference. As long as you make sure to turn off the fans in rooms that aren’t occupied, that’ll save you money in the long run.
Avoid Appliance Use
During the hottest days of summer, you won’t want to increase the already high temperatures in your home. That will only force your HVAC unit to work overtime — and that means higher bills. If at all possible, avoid using the big appliances in your home (such as the washer, dryer, dishwasher, and oven) during the daytime. That way, you’ll keep the temperatures inside as cool as possible. You may also be more thoughtful about your energy use in general, which can lead to positive changes for the planet and your pocketbook.
Call For AC Service and Repair
If you’ve been avoiding changing your air filters or have been hearing strange sounds and dismissing them, it’s entirely possible that your inefficient unit is causing your bills to skyrocket. That’s why you need to prioritize AC service and repair as soon as possible. By tackling small problems right away, you’ll be able to keep your monthly bills down and minimize excessive AC service and repair costs down the line. You’ll probably lengthen the lifespan of the unit itself in the process. If you can’t remember the last time you called for AC service and repairs, make an appointment before summer’s end to ensure your unit’s health for the rest of the season and beyond.
Summertime typically means higher energy bills, but there are ways to minimize those costs. By following these tips and being more conscious about your energy usage, you can beat the heat without boosting your bills.