It is hot! Considering the heat that has come especially early this year, I thought I would take a few minutes to discuss some ways to help keep your air-conditioning bills to a minimum. Some of these came from an old CNET.com article, but many are just good tips that you may already know.
1. Quit cooling the neighborhood!! Ensure your windows are properly caulked and that the weather stripping around doors is in good condition. Close the blinds on western-facing sides of the home during the hottest part of the day and ensure that your ceiling fans are on. Also,spending just a little cash to have additional blown-in insulation can go along way for lowering your electric bills. Some hardware stores even refund the cost of renting the machine if you purchase the insulation from them.
2. Upgrade to a smart thermostat. Prices on these have come down significantly and they can be controlled remotely so your home temperature is right where you want it to be when you get home. Whatever thermostat you have, make sure it is located on the correct wall. For example, you don’t want to have the thermostat located under the cool breeze of the air vent, making it appear as though your home is cooler than it actually is. A mislocated thermostat can cost you a bunch of dough!
3. Raise the temperature. This may seem counter intuitive, and although it has been said that leaving your thermostat at the same temperature all the time saves money, this article suggests otherwise and encourages people to turn the AC up a few degrees when they leave the home. The afore mentioned smart thermostats could help with this. A general rule of thumb is to leave your AC set at 78 degrees while at home and turning it up to 80 while away.
4. Unless you have a penguin living in your home,don’t set the thermostat too low. Set your AC at the highest temperature that you can comfortably reside in. Even a small change in overall temperature can make a big difference on your electric bill.
5. Think outside of the home! Solar-screens, window films, and tinting can be quite inexpensive. Of course, planting trees and shrubbery in the proper locations to limit direct afternoon sun can also make a difference.
6. Get a checkup! Have your AC system checked no less than once a year to ensure it’s working at its best. It may be well worth the money spent, not to mention that it may help your air conditioning system last longer. I know several reliable AC guys, so let me know if you need professional help!