If you're trying to keep your air conditioning bills under control, you've probably come across so many tips and tricks that you feel overwhelmed. To help make efficient cooling seem more manageable, it helps to break it down into three components.
Ensuring Your Unit Runs Efficiently
The first component of efficient home cooling is ensuring that your air conditioner turns on as infrequently as possible, and that when it does run, it uses as little energy as possible. Common energy-saving tips that address this component include:
- Changing your air filter regularly so your AC unit does not have to work extra hard to push air through a dirty filter.
- Turning your thermostat up during the day when you're not home.
- Ensuring your vents are not blocked by furniture or other items.
- Having your air conditioner cleaned and maintained regularly. (Dirty coils and loose parts can increase energy expenditure).
- Upgrading to a more energy-efficient unit if yours is older and less efficient.
Preventing Heat From Coming Inside
Be preventing warm air and warming sunlight from coming into your home, you reduce the work your air conditioner has to do in order to keep your home cool. Common tips in this category include:
- Using drapes or shades to block hot sunlight from shining in your windows.
- Properly insulating your attic and walls.
- Caulking around your windows to ensure no warm air is able to leak inside.
- Planting trees or shrubs around the base of your home to add an extra layer of insulation and prevent the sun from hitting your walls directly.
Preventing Additional Heat Generation Inside the Home
If your appliances or general practices are generating heat inside the home, you are canceling out some of the effects of your air conditioner and causing it to work harder, wasting energy. Ways to avoid heat generation within the home include:
- Using a crock pot or microwave to cook rather than a full-size oven or stove. (You can also grill outside).
- Turning off electronics like televisions and computers when they are not in use. (These electronics give off heat when running).
- Using LED or fluorescent bulbs rather than incandescent ones.
When trying to save on air conditioning, focus on preventing heat generation inside the home, maximizing the efficiency of your unit, and keeping the outside heat outside. With this focused approach, you'll have an easier time approaching this goal in an organized manner.