Air conditioning is an essential during the summer months, but if you’re the one who pays the bills, there have probably been some times when you’ve questioned just how much you need it. That’s because, although you only use it for part of the year, air conditioning drives up energy consumption unlike any other household appliance – and sometimes it barely even feels effective.
If you’ve ever felt like your air conditioner wasn’t working very well, it could be your system, or it could be a systemic problem. In many cases, air conditioners don’t work as well as they could because the entire home is energy inefficient. Luckily, there are often some simple fixes that can improve the situation.
Start by addressing these 4 common home energy problems and you might just see your electric bills drop this summer.
Cover Your Windows
Letting in the sun feels great, but it’s the worst thing you can do if you want to keep your home cool and reduce how much you run your air conditioner. That’s why you need to cover your windows, and not with just any curtains. For maximum impact, opt for full-coverage plantation shutters or blackout curtains. These will insulate the space, keeping the sun’s radiant heat out and cool air in.
Review Your A/C Options
Many people think that all central air conditioning is essentially the same, and while that was once true, you have more choices now. With that in mind, talk to your air conditioner repair technician when they come to prepare your system for the season to find out if you have the right kind of air conditioning system for your home.
There are two main types of systems on the market today that both use a central outdoor unit: traditional central air and the ductless mini-split system. Ductless systems allow you to individually cool specific rooms, connecting each with its own thermostat instead of cooling the entire house to the same temperature. This reduces energy waste, at least if you don’t use parts of your house regularly.
Move Your Unit
Where is your outdoor air conditioning unit? Maybe your system was placed by the previous owners, or you just had the technician place it wherever seemed most convenient. You might not have even known that it could make a difference. If your outdoor unit sits directly in the sun, though, it could be driving down system efficiency and running up your costs. Move it to a shadier area or provide a simple, insulated covering to keep your system cool.
Get Those Fans Moving
If you’re running your air conditioner, you don’t need to run your ceiling fan, right? Wrong. Ceiling fans are much more energy efficient than air conditioners, and when circulating counter-clockwise, they create a wind-chill effect that will help you feel cooler. By turning on ceiling fans throughout your home, you can likely lower your air conditioner’s base temperature by several degrees.
This summer, don’t let your air conditioner use empty your bank account. Instead, prepare your home for summer by ensuring your air conditioner can really do its job. Depending on your home, driving down your electric bill could be as simple as closing the shades or turning on a fan.