We all love staying cool in the summer heat, at least until we see what the air conditioner can do to our energy bill. Heating and cooling a house is over half of the average house’s annual spending on utilities. But there are ways that you can help keep your cooling costs to a minimum this summer, without sacrificing comfort.
- Fire Up the Grill: It’s obvious but worth noting that turning on the oven in the middle of summer can really heat up a house. If you can, try to take your cooking outside to that beloved grill. Keeping the heat outside means that your AC will have to work less to cool down the air within your home.
- Consider Thermal Shades: Thermal-backed curtains or shades can help block the amount of sunlight you let into your house everyday, and thus can help lower the amount of heat your home accrues. The Department of Energy estimates that curtains lined with white backing can reduce heat gain in a home by 33% on a summer day.
These types of shades are best on the sides of your home that receive the most amount of light, like the west and south side. In the future, you may want to consider planting shade trees around these areas of your home to help reduce heat gain. If you’re home during the day and you don’t want to live in the dark, consider solar shades that block heat but let in light.
- Change Your Air Filter Regularly: Do you even know where your air filter is? There should be one within the casing of your AC unit, and there may also be one on your air return vent. You need to check the filters of your air system at least once a month during the cooling system and change them if they’re dirty. Dirty air filters mean that your AC has to work harder to bring in the air it cools. Cleaner filters equal a more efficient AC.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat: Everyone should own and use a programmable thermostat to help lower cooling and heating costs. To use properly, set the thermostat to a higher indoor air temperature for the times when you’re going to be gone from home for four hours or more. Then you can set the thermostat to begin lowering the indoor temperature to your desired setting about an hour before you come home. To learn more about programmable thermostats, check out our blog post.
- Schedule Routine Maintenance: If you didn’t schedule a pre-season maintenance check on your AC, call Gagne Heating and Cooling for an appointment now. Routine maintenance by an HVAC professional ensures that your AC is running as efficiently as possible, cutting your cooling costs as well as helping ensure the longevity and problem free operation of your AC unit.
At Gagne Heating and Cooling, we want to make sure that you’re staying cool all summer long and these five fairly quick, low cost tips can help your AC run more efficiently this summer. When it’s time for a new AC unit, be sure to ask your Gagne representative about the most efficient ACs available that can help you save money for years to come.