This may not be a surprise, but in case you didn’t know, air conditioning sucks up more energy than anything else. It usually uses about 16 percent of total energy, and can account for 60 to 70 percent of your summer electric bills. The good news is, a few small tweaks can make a big difference, and add up to pretty sweet savings. Here are just a few tips to consider.
Though first, it is important to consider whether it might be time to buy a new system. Obviously the cost upfront is large, but over time, a more efficient unit will more than pay for itself. According to Rapid Air, an HVAC contractor in Corpus Christi, buying a new energy-efficient air conditioner may quality you for a variety of rebates from the government and the manufacturers.
But, back to trimming energy costs…
Plug Up Leaks
If you have any areas in your home that are allowing that precious cool air to escape right to the outside, you want to fix that asap. Addressing this one issue alone can save you up to 20 percent on your utility bills this summer. Plastic film can help improve insulation around older windows. Caulk and foam can seal up cracks and openings. The best thing about this fix is that it is incredibly inexpensive and it can get you great returns.
Keep Filters Clean
Dirty filters make your AC system less efficient, and the harder it has to work to cool your home, the bigger your energy bill. You should clean filters once a month by running water through them and letting them air dry. If they are particularly dirty, consider replacing them completely.
Program Your Thermostat
Did you know programming your thermostat can save you up to 30 percent on energy costs? At certain times of the day, there is no reason to leave the air conditioning on or to run it as high as you may during more ‘peak’ hours. A programmable thermostat will allow you to set different temperatures at different times of day. So instead of leaving on your AC the whole time you are gone so you don’t walk into a hot house, you can simply turn it off and set it to come back on again shortly before you come home so you will be nice and comfortable when you walk in the door.
Get Your System Checked
Most people don’t have their AC checked until something goes wrong and it’s not working at all. But if you want to maximize energy use and minimize costs get your unit serviced annually. The technician can check for rusting, mold, grime and other issues that decrease efficiency. They can also nip smaller problems in the bud before they become bigger, more expensive ones. On a somewhat related note, you can also have someone come and look at your whole house and perform an ‘energy audit’ letting you know all the different ways you can cut costs.