There’s no way to avoid a rise in electrical costs during the summer if you have a central air conditioning system. The air conditioner consumes electrical power to run the fans and the compressor, and this comes at a cost. But the cost doesn’t have to be as high as it currently is! There are ways to reduce the price of a comfortably cool home over this summer, and the many summers to come.
Here are our top tips for conquering the high cost of cooling:
- Keep the AC maintained: This means always remember to schedule a spring inspection and tune-up for the system from licensed HVAC professionals. Without maintenance, dirt and wear on the AC will cause it to lose efficiency. The air conditioner will put out the same amount of cooling, but draw on more electricity than before—up to 25% more if the air conditioner has missed enough maintenance appointments! June isn’t too late to schedule this if you haven’t done it yet.
- Raise the thermostat, don’t lower it: It’s tempting to drop the thermostat setting down to 60°F (usually the lowest setting) so you’ll get “the most” from the AC. But this is extremely wasteful. We recommend—as does the Department of Energy—a setting of 78°F during the day when people are home. (At night or when the house is empty, raise the temperature by 7°–10°F.) This reduces the amount of time the AC has to run while slowing down how fast heat enters from the outside. The difference in costs can be 20% with these settings.
- Close drapes and blinds: Radiant energy from the sun enters your home through a vulnerable spot: the windows. Draw blinds or drapes over sun-exposed windows during the day to keep out the heat and take stress off the AC.
- Avoid cooking and cleaning in the middle of the day: During peak heat periods in the day, you don’t want to be placing additional heat or moisture into the air. Run as few appliances as possible during mid-day.
- Use fans: If you have ceiling fans, turn them on to create a cooling breeze in occupied rooms. You can also set the AC to “fan only” mode for a similar effect. The HVAC system uses much less energy when in “fan only” mode because power doesn’t have to go to the compressor.
- Seal leaky ductwork: If your current air conditioning bills are incredibly costly compared to what they’ve been before, you might have a leaky ductwork system that’s allowing air to escape to closed-off parts of the house—up to 30% of the air you’ve already paid to cool. HVAC professionals can test the ducts to see if this is a problem and then seal up the leaks.
The Howell, MI, HVAC contractor who can help you with important AC jobs like maintenance and repair is First Choice. We started in business in 2001, and we believe in treating customers the way we’d like to be treated. We’re focused on preventive services that help customers save money and avoid having to pay for costly upgrades and system replacements. Let us maximize your cooling and savings.
Look to First Choice Heating & Cooling when you need AC service. If your home had a voice, it would call First Choice!