July 8, 2024
8 Tips to Help Maintain Control of Your Cooling Bill

Some studies estimate that household cooling accounts for as much as 50% of your total energy bill over the summer. What many don’t know is that there are easy ways to help cut that bill down to protect your wallet over the hottest months. Follow these eight tips to maintain control over your cooling bills this summer.

1. Keep a Clean Air Filter

Your air conditioner’s air filter will capture airborne contaminants before they can collect in your system and restrict airflow. Left neglected, however, they become the most common source of insufficient airflow. Plan to check your filter monthly, knowing you’ll need to change it every 30 to 90 days if you have a 1- or 2-inch filter. Larger filters may last longer depending on their construction and your home’s air quality.

2. Run Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are often disregarded as a way to reduce cooling costs being they don’t reduce the air’s temperature. However, when run properly, ceiling fans produce a wind chill effect, making the air feel cooler than it actually is, up to about 5 degrees Fahrenheit. By running your ceiling fan, you’ll be more comfortable at a higher temperature, reducing the amount your system runs which reduces your energy consumption.

3. Use Your Thermostat’s Programs

Modern digital thermostats usually have some programming capabilities, allowing you to adjust the temperature throughout the day. Depending on the thermostat, you may have two or more adjustments available throughout the day and may be able to adjust each day individually versus grouping weekdays and weekends. The Department of Energy suggests you can reduce your cooling bills by up to 10% by simply raising the temperature on your thermostat when you aren’t home.

4. Lower Your Blinds

Part of the strain on your system is caused by radiant solar heating caused by the sun coming in through your windows. Plan to keep your blinds closed when you’re not home and then again when the sun is shining directly into the window. This is especially important for south-facing windows, which receive the most sunlight.

5. Carefully Plan Your Chores

Chores are a reality of life if you want to have a comfortable and healthy home with the lowest maintenance costs. However, some of those chores can add substantial heat and humidity to your home, including cooking, dishes, laundry and bathing. Try to avoid these chores during the hottest parts of the day, leaving them until either earlier in the morning or waiting until after the heat of the day.

6. Open and Clear Your Vents

Your air conditioner requires air circulation to move cooler air around your home. Without proper circulation you can damage your HVAC system and your home’s temperature will remain inconsistent.

The key to circulation is ensuring air can flow from your supply vents and into your return vents. To achieve this, first open all of the supply vents around your home, even in areas you don’t use frequently. Then, make sure that all vents have enough clearance, with 6 inches commonly recommended around and above each vent. Your return vent may need more, depending on its size, so check with your technician during your next maintenance visit.

7. Keep Your Air Conditioner Professionally Maintained

Professional maintenance is another critical piece to keeping your air conditioner running efficiently and your costs down. Air conditioners lose efficiency over time due to contaminants getting in the system, mounting hardware and electrical connections loosening and parts wearing.

During maintenance, a technician will clean the areas that tend to restrict airflow, including the evaporator coil and the circulating fan. They’ll move on to tightening electrical connections that loosen due to vibration. Loose electrical connections create more electrical resistance, which increases electricity consumption.

Finally, your technician will run a series of tests to find any components that aren’t working optimally. These components may draw additional power not to mention increasing the wear on your system.

8. Don’t Ignore Small Problems

It’s tempting to ignore small problems, especially if your home still seems mostly comfortable. However, when things are operating suboptimally, it causes longer cooling cycles at a minimum. Let that compound long enough and your system will start consuming more power during the extended cycles. Resolving these small problems quickly both prevents excess energy consumption and cascading problems due to excessive operational strain.

Since 1971, property owners around Glenwood have turned to the award-winning technicians at Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning to keep their homes comfortable. Our expert team provides heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair and installation together with indoor air quality solutions and duct cleaning. Call to schedule your routine AC maintenance today! Ask us about our Apollo maintenance plan, too!

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