It’s easy to let power bills skyrocket during the summer months. Everyone in your home is so eager to beat the heat that they set the thermostat as low as can go, and let it run all day and night. But staying cool doesn’t have to mean taking on a second job to pay for the AC bill. Here are ways you can help your AC work more efficiently.
Keep the surrounding area clear
Any items that are directly in front of AC vents can reduce airflow. Make sure there aren’t any pieces of furniture, plants, or other large things blocking air from circulating.
Keep light off your unit
If your actual air conditioning unit gets too hot, it will work harder, believing that the entire house is as hot as it is. So don’t place it in direct sunlight or under bright lights.
Change or clean your filter
If your filter is old or clogged, it won’t work efficiently and, in turn, neither will your air conditioning unit. Read your unit’s instructions and change or clean the filter accordingly.
Get regular maintenance
Some professionals recommend having your air conditioner inspected and serviced every year. If you don’t run it that often, you may be able to get away with every three years. But don’t let five years go by without a maintenance check.
Schedule your thermostat
If someone simply forgets to turn off the AC before leaving for the day or fails to adjust it slightly for the night, that can cost you a lot of money. Using your home automated system, you don’t need to fall victim to human error. Just schedule your thermostat to be on when you’re home, and off when you’re away—or at least at a higher temperature while you’re out.
Check for leaks
Check the areas you don’t often go into for air leaks. Your attic and basement, for example, may have windows that don’t shut all the way and are letting air out.
Refresh weather stripping
Refresh any broken or worn down weather stripping, since it may be releasing cold air from your home.
Remove appliances that heat up
Don’t keep appliances that get hot, like crock pots or electric kettles, near your air conditioning unit. These can surround the AC with hot hair, and make it work harder.
Shut blinds and curtains
Keep blinds and curtains closed while you’re running the air conditioner. Sunlight can quickly raise the temperature inside a room and make the AC work harder. Consider adding blackout curtains to further your efforts.
Ovens and stoves have a way of heating up a home quickly. In fact, it’s why some families who don’t have heaters turn on the oven during the cold months. So don’t use it during the hot months, as it will drive up the temperature inside your house. Instead, consider making more meals outdoors on the grill.
Add a dehumidifier
If humidity levels are high, your home will feel much hotter than it actually is. Check your local humidity levels, and consider adding a dehumidifier to your home. You may find that, then, you don’t need to run your AC as much.
If you live in a hot climate then running the air conditioner is non-negotiable, but that can also make the summer months some of the most expensive. Use these tips to get the most out of your air conditioning unit, without seeing a devastating power bill.