The hottest days of summer make your air conditioning unit work the hardest. Here are ways to lower utility bills, save energy, increase comfort and maximize efficiency when your A/C needs the most help to keep you cool.
1. Is it time to replace your HVAC model?
You may find your old air conditioner is no longer efficient. Consider replacing your unit with an energy-efficient model. They’re usually more expensive but thanks to federal tax credits and competitive prices, the prices are falling, and because they use less energy, you save in the long run, too.
When replacing your A/C, look for a properly sized unit. If you install an A/C that is too large, it will cycle on and off — reducing the efficiency of the system.
2. Weatherize so you don’t cool the whole neighborhood
You want your cold air to stay in and hot air to stay out. Some basic weatherization steps can prevent air loss when you need cool air the most. Seal air leaks with caulking and weather-stripping. Add insulation around air conditioning ducts.
3. Watch the pavement and mind the landscaping
Avoid landscaping with lots of rock, cement, or asphalt on the south or west sides of your home. If it’s not shaded, it will increase the temperature around the house and radiate heat.
4. Look out for debris
Keep plants, shrubs, and other landscaping about 2 to 4 feet away from your outdoor unit to ensure adequate airflow.
5. Feel the breeze from your fans
If your home has ceiling fans, switch your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise in the summer. That will push the cool air down. You can run a ceiling fan half the day for about $1.50 a month, compared to $25 for an air conditioner.
6. Install window film to save energy
A great home improvement idea is to install home window film or tint to the insides of your windows. Not only can it help keep your house cooler in the summer, but also warmer in the winter.