13 ways to save on AC cooling costs
Here are some simple tips to keep cool and control your air conditioning costs.
This spring, as you stay close to home and take care of yourself and your family, it’s also a great opportunity to get your home set up to keep cool and control your air conditioning costs. 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 Google Nest Learning Thermostat you can control remotely
The Nest Learning Thermostat automatically adjusts to keep your home at the perfect temperature –whether you’re there or away – making it one of the most popular Smart Home devices in Canada. This smart device quickly learns your preferences and begins to adjust your home to the ideal temperature in no time. It can also help to keep your energy costs in check. Through the app, you can review your energy usage and get personalized recommendations on how to help save on energy costs.
Click here to learn more about the Nest Learning Thermostat
2. Use ceiling fans
Ceiling and standing fans are helpful as Air that is moving feels cooler than still air, similar to the wind chill effect in winter.
3. Shut off the lights
An oldie but a goodie. Turning lights off lights when they aren’t needed and even using fluorescent or LED lights which produce less heat 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. Install curtains or blinds and make it a habit to draw them when no one is at home and on bright sunny days. 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. Seal your windows
Using a leak detector, check for air leakage around the frame and movable joints of your windows and skylights. Look for signs of damage such as rot, mould and/or staining and note the condition of the glass and weatherstripping. Keep the cool air in and the hot air out by ensuring your windows and skylights are well insulated, sealed and repaired.
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. Open your vents
It’s a common misconception that closing vents in the basement or unused rooms will help to save energy. An AC produces the same amount of air whether your vents are opened or closed. Closing vents increases the pressure within the system. This pressure puts extra strain on the fan which can affect it’s lifespan and will cause it to use more energy. It can also cause the coil to freeze due to inadequate airflow. To ensure the unit operates efficiently, it’s better to keep the vents open.
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.
13. Take note
Cooling load is a major factor that can impact your energy costs. The cooling load determines the right size of AC unit for your home. Cooling load is the amount of cooling your system must provide to offer sufficient comfort. There are many factors that go into calculating the cooling load, including the size of your home, window square footage, insulation levels, orientation of your home (for instance, if it’s facing west), and several other factors.
If your AC is too large, it will cycle on and off frequently, reducing the efficiency of your AC system and impacting energy costs. A system that is too large also loses the ability to dehumidify, which will make your home feel hotter and less comfortable.
If the AC unit is too small, it may not be able to meet the demands of a hot, humid day.
If you’re considering a new air conditioner, ensure that a cooling load assessment is completed by a professional to help determine the right system to suit your home.
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