How To Keep Energy Costs Low While Using Your Air Conditioner
While many of us love the hot, sweltering weather that summer brings with it, it can also make things rather uncomfortable when you are inside. That’s why we invest in home air conditioning units or central air. That way we don’t have to rely on fans blowing or hoping for a breeze to blow in our windows to keep us cool. They make things a little more bearable. Unfortunately AC has several downfalls, not the least of which are increased electricity costs. Not only can they be hard on your pocket, but using them constantly can be hard on the environment as well. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to use your AC efficiently and effectively.
Buy An Efficient Unit
If you’ve got an older unit that’s been sitting around for a few years, make sure it has an Energy Star label on it. If it doesn’t, it’s probably time to replace it. Most new units have this label already, but it’s important to double check anyway. You’ll also want to make sure it has a high season energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Both of these things will ensure your machine is energy-efficient and cost-effective.
Energy Star is an international recognized symbol that can be found on all types of products, including refrigerators, windows, washing machines and more. It means the item with the label uses less energy and reduces emissions.
The SEER rating is on all air conditioners that are on the market today, and they range from 13 to 25. It lets you know how much energy the AC unit needs to run in a single year. The higher the rating, the less energy that is needed.
Make Sure It Is Properly Maintained
Many of us are guilty of not properly maintaining our AC. An air conditioner’s filters, coils and fins need regular maintenance in order to function efficiently and effectively, and if you don’t know how to do it, you should hire someone. If your unit needs more than regular maintenance, you should hire a professional to take a look. If you neglect it, not only will the cooling performance decline, but your energy use will steadily increase as well. This also includes having your ducts cleaned out to increase the airflow throughout your home.
Keep The Cool Air Indoors
This might sounds like something your father will tell you, but it’s good advice to keep the windows and doors closed when the AC is on. After all, the more cold air that escapes, the harder your AC unit will have to work. This includes keeping the curtains and blinds drawn during the day to block the sun’s heat. Another thing you will want to check is your home’s air sealing and insulation, because it can help keep the cool air inside where it belongs. This doesn’t mean you can’t crack the window when there is a cool breeze blowing outside, but it does mean you should turn off the AC when you do.
Pay Attention To The Time Of Day Usage Costs
Electricity can cost more during the day in some parts of the country. And to make matters worse, many of us aren’t even home during that time. Because of this it’s important to be strategic about when you run your AC and keep your home the coolest. In most cases a programmable thermostat can solve this problem. This will allow you to set the temperature differently based on when you are actually in the house and need it to be the coolest. Programming your AC based on your daily routines and needs can improve the AC’s efficiency.