12 1/2 ways to save on AC cooling costs
Here are some simple tips to keep cool and control your air conditioning costs.
Everyone wants to keep cool and comfortable when temperatures soar. The trick is to balance your home comfort with climbing energy bills. Here, you’ll find some of the most common ways to reduce air conditioning costs, plus we’ve included some proven tips that you may not have considered before. The more tips you use, the better your energy savings could be, so get started today.
1. Get a programmable smart thermostat you can control remotely
Why spend money cooling your home if no one is around to enjoy it? With a programmable smart thermostat, you can manage when your AC system turns on and off during the day and week from your smartphone! For instance, you can set your AC system to turn on before you arrive home.
2. Use ceiling fans
Ceiling and standing fans are helpful as they help the cool air generated by your air conditioner to circulate throughout your home. Air that is moving also feels cooler than still air, similar to the wind chill effect in winter.
3. Shut off the lights
An oldie but a goodie. Unlike compact fluorescent and LED lights, incandescent light bulbs can produce a lot of heat. Turning lights off when you leave a room or when it’s bright outside will help take pressure off your cooling system (and your energy bills!).
4. Install attic insulation
Insulation acts as a barrier between the inside and outside of your home. In the summertime, it helps to lock cold air in your home, as opposed to letting it seep through small openings in the walls or ceiling.
5. Close the curtains and blinds
The sun’s rays are especially strong during the summer, and they can heat up a room in no time. Make it a habit to draw curtains and blinds when no one is at home. Your AC will thank you.
6. Avoid the oven
Instead of a heat-generating oven, consider cooking in a microwave, throwing some burgers on the barbecue or picking up your favourite takeout.
7. Look for leaky ducts
You may be losing precious cool air if your duct system has a leak or a lack of insulation. The result? Certain rooms in your home are warmer than they should be.
8. Use an exhaust fan and range hood
Using an exhaust fan while showering, and activating the range hood while cooking, can reduce the work your AC system needs to do.
9. Plant trees and tall shrubs
Planting tall greenery near your home offers ongoing shade that can help lower your air conditioning costs.
10. Install awnings
Similar to the role trees can play, an awning shades your home from sunlight, reducing the amount of energy your AC uses to reach your desired home temperature. Every little bit counts!
11. Close basement vents
The basement is normally the coolest part of the house anyway, so closing some of the vents that service that area is okay – the cold air will make it down there either way. Be careful not to close too many vents, however, as your AC requires a certain amount of airflow to operate properly.
12. Find your feng shui
Feng shui is a Chinese philosophy of finding harmony with one’s environment. In this case, if there’s a piece of furniture obstructing a vent that delivers cool air, take the opportunity to rearrange furniture in a new way. You’ll be helping your AC run more efficiently, plus you may just love the new look of the room.
12 ½. Dampen a shirt
Okay, so this may be a stretch for some, which is why it has ‘1/2’ status on our list, but it can work! Dampen a shirt under cool water and place it in the fridge for a few minutes. You’ll feel instantly refreshed as soon as you put it on!
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