As the weather heats up, so will your home's energy costs. Keeping your home cool can take a toll on your energy source and air conditioning units. Here are some tips you can use to keep your energy bills within reason.
- Service your air conditioning system. If your system is running inefficiently, it will work harder to cool your home. As a result, your bills will be higher. Before the extreme summer weather hits, have a HVAC technician perform maintenance,, such as checking the refrigerant.
- Use your ceiling fan. The ceiling fan can help to enhance your air conditioner's efforts. It is more cost-effective to rely on it a bit more. When you turn on the fan, turn up the temperature on the air conditioner a few notches. Your family will still be comfortable with the help of the fan.
- Turn off the unit at night. Depending on the area in which you live, turning off the air conditioner at night might be possible. If it turns cooler at night, turn on the fans in your home, let up the windows, and turn off the air conditioner.
- Invest in an awning. An awning can potentially reduce the solar heat gain in your home by up to 77 percent, depending on the direction the windows are facing. Custom awnings can be crafted to provide protection to one side of your home.
- Cut down on your cooking time. Using your oven or stove during the summer can add to the warmth in the air and push your air conditioner to work longer. To cut down on the unit's runtime, either stick to meals that cook quickly or that do not require cooking at all. You can even use a slow cooker.
- Head to the basement. The basement is usually cooler than the rest of the home during the warm weather. You can raise the temperature on your thermostat and spend more time in the basement with your family during the hotter portions of the day. Remember to keep the basement windows closed to avoid letting in hot air.
- Add ventilation. Vents strategically placed in certain areas of your home can help to remove hot air. For instance, a vent in the laundry room can decrease the amount of heat left in the air by the dryer. Check with your contractor to find other areas where more ventilation can be added.
Talk to your HVAC technician about other steps you can take to keep your air conditioner-related energy costs to a minimum.