We all know how punishing summers can get these days. It seems to be getting hotter every year, so we do whatever we can to stay cool. Most of the time, however, we just depend on our AC units for that. The predictable result is an energy bill so high it will make us want to cut back on the AC. But this isn’t going to solve the problem that the scorching summer sun will continue to give us the entire time. We’ll still feel hot, and that will make the risk of suffering a heat stroke even more real.
Fortunately, there are several HVAC tips that we can do to save money on our summer energy bill, yet keep us cool the entire time. Getting an AC tuneup, preferably before the summer sets in, is one great example. With a freshly cleaned and maintained AC unit, you can expect a very efficient performance from it all summer long. Here are some other HVAC tips that will promise much lower energy bills for the summer.
Keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher
You might tend to set the thermostat at 70 degrees when it’s extremely hot, and we don’t blame you. However, doing so will ensure that your energy bill is going to make your eyes pop when it arrives. Just let your overreaction to the heat simmer down, then set the thermostat at a higher 78 degrees. It may not make your home winter-cold, but it should be enough to make you and everyone in your household comfortable.
Get some shade
A lot of harsh sunlight is guaranteed to hit your home directly and will try to transform your home into an oven. Such heat is going to force your AC unit to work harder to keep everyone cool, and that means higher energy bills.
The most obvious solution to direct sunlight is to create more shade to deflect it. You can plant trees that will help provide shade outside, particularly on the eastern and western parts of your property. To keep the sun out of the building itself, curtains, drapes, and Venetian blinds should come in handy.
Keep the lights off during the day
LED lights might be energy-efficient ones, but they still give off a lot of heat. This will contribute to the rise in temperature of any room. If you can help it, keep the lights off during the day unless you absolutely need them to be turned on. Your AC unit will appreciate any reduction in the heat inside the home.
Do your cooking outside
Speaking of contributing to heat buildup inside the house, the guiltiest parties would be the traditional oven and stove that you use to cook your food. They both give off a lot of heat, which will make your AC unit work so much harder than usual to keep the climate comfortable. So if possible, do your cooking outside. Grilling your food should do it, but if you can’t stand the heat outside, then just cook your food using your microwave oven. This doesn’t give off heat the way stoves and traditional gas-fired ovens do.
Keep your thermostat away from heat sources.
Your thermostat is designed to “read” the temperature in the room. If it senses an increase in the temperature, it will automatically tell the AC unit to keep working at it until everything’s back to normal.
The problem is, your thermostat may be picking up on the heat that direct sunlight or heat-generating appliances give off, not the overall temperature in the room. So keep your thermostat away from your television, computer, or any of your stuff that gives off heat. You should also put it in a place where the sun can’t get to it.
Keep your AC air filter clean
If you just had your AC unit maintained before the summer hit, then the air filter of your air conditioning unit will have been clean at that point. That wouldn’t be so true a month into the summer. For sure, the air filter will have collected a lot of dust and dirt by then. And this will begin to restrict airflow. That is definitely not good, because poor airflow will also force your AC unit to use more energy so it can do its job better. So check your AC air filter regularly to see if it needs cleaning or replacing already.
Don’t cool the entire neighborhood
If you want significant energy savings, then do everything you can to insulate your home properly. All that money you’ll be spending to cool the air inside your home will only go to waste if the building is peppered with holes, cracks, and gaps. So plug those holes to keep all that precious cooled air from escaping. That should keep the climate inside your home always cool. With a home that’s sealed tight, you can expect lower energy bills in the coming months.
Give your AC a break, use fans instead
Summers are inherently hot, but some days tend to be cooler than those you’ve been subjected to over the last few weeks. You can turn off the AC on such days and use fans to keep cool instead. Obviously, they use a lot less energy than your AC unit.
And if you’re going to use fans to keep cool, let them be ceiling fans, which you can actually use simultaneously with your air conditioner. They help disperse cool air more evenly. They can also help reduce your air conditioning costs in the summer by 15% to 25% as long as you set the thermostat to 80 or 81 degrees and not the 78 degrees you’ve been accustomed to the entire time.
These are just some of the HVAC tips that will you keep your energy costs down this summer. Follow these tips to heart, and you will see a dip in your energy bills soon.