The weather’s stifling.
The sun’s high in the sky, and the temperature’s soaring with it.
It’s no trouble for you though! You’ve got your trusted air conditioning unit to call upon. Press a button and the temperature swiftly drops to something altogether more tolerable.
But it comes at a very literal cost: all that lovely cool air isn’t cheap.
In fact, air conditioners set US homeowners back $29 billion in total every year!
Choosing between excessive temperatures and excessive utility bills is never fun. Thankfully, there are all manner of ways to make your systems more efficient. You can cut costs and stay cool all at once!
Want to know how?
Keep reading to discover 7 essential air conditioning tips to help cut costs and stay cool this summer.
1. Block out the Sun
Surprisingly enough, all that heat is coming from the big ball of fire in the sky. That’s right, the sun can become the bane of your overheated summer life. Blocking it from entering your house is one straightforward way to lower the temperature. Sometimes, all it takes is shutting the blinds or curtains. Likewise, consider painting your home in lighter colors (white is particularly good) to reflect the heat back outside. Darker colors tend to invite the heat in. Of course, the cooler air inside means the A/C unit doesn’t have to work as hard too. That means cost savings are secured!
2. Avoid Hot Activities
This is hardly a revolutionary idea. However, we’re often our own worst enemy. It’s hot outside, yet we continue to do all the things indoors that generate heat! We turn the over on, run the dishwasher, set the washing on, and use the tumble dryer…and so on. All of these are great heat emitters. They’ll only raise the already scorching temperatures even further. Wait until the morning or later evening, when it’s cooler outside. Similarly, consider minimizing their usage at all times! Take the excuse to cook outside on the grill. Wash the dishes the old fashioned way (by hand).
3. Change Your Filters
On to specific A/C unit recommendations.
First off: Change the filters once a month in the summertime. That might sound excessive (you may never have changed it before!), but this is a go-to solution for an ineffective air conditioner. Dirty and clogged filters make it far harder for the A/C to do its job. It’s less efficient, meaning it can’t cool the air as easily. You’re bound to be using your unit more frequently in summer. That extra usage means the filters clog more readily. Hence why it’s important to change them with greater frequency. Don’t, and expect an unhappy A/C. And an unhappy A/C takes it out on your temperature of utility bills.
4. Clear the Area
Let’s face it, giant HVAC units aren’t particularly visually appealing. You put a lot of hard work into maintaining your front yard. You want it to look pristine! Then you look up and see the giant lump of an HVAC next to the house. It’s tempting to try and cover it up. Indeed, people go to great lengths to hide their A/C systems. However, unbeknownst to them, they’re doing themselves a disservice. HVAC systems need space around them to function correctly! Anything you place directly around it can serve to block the airflow. Obviously, the unit requires airflow to operate as intended. If it can’t access it, then the air in your home won’t be cooled as readily. Make the effort to clear the A/C from any debris around it.
Learn more about why your unit isn’t emitting cold air.
5. Stick to 78 Degrees
78 degrees is the recommended temperature for your thermostat. You might read that and balk! It’s far too hot to comfortably stay inside! It can definitely take some getting used to if you’re standard temperature setting is far lower. However, you’ll certainly save some money on your utility bills by sticking with it. What’s more, consider turning the heating even higher when you aren’t at home. The closer the indoor temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the cheaper your bills will be. If you aren’t at home, then does it really matter how warm it is inside anyway? Top tip: install a thermostat with remote controls. You can set it via your phone whenever you need to. That means instant control over the temperature. Coming home? Cools things down. Left the house? Turn it up.
6. Leverage Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can be a lifesaver in the heat. Now, they won’t actually reduce the temperature of the house itself. But they will successfully lower your own body temperature. It acts exactly as a cool breeze does. The surface temperature of your body responds to the flow of air. You no longer feel as warm and uncomfortable. Make sure they’re turning counter-clockwise though. That ensures the air flows downwards rather than up (up works better in colder months).
7. Get a Service
Sometimes, no matter what you try, the A/C unit needs some work on it. Maybe you’ve had it for years and it’s just reached a tipping point. HVACs should be regularly serviced to keep them running smoothly anyway. It’s just good practice. Indeed, doing it in springtime will make sure it’s working find come summer. Calling a professional to take a look at the problem is the easiest way to solve it. Stuck for answers and can’t handle the heat? Get a pro service arranged.
Time to Act on These Air Conditioning Tips
There you have it: the top air conditioning tips to help you stay cool with summer. A/C units are a vital addition to a household when the hot summer months hit. There’s nothing worse than being hot, sweaty and uncomfortable indoors! Unfortunately, the use of A/C usually comes at a financial cost. Thankfully, as we’ve seen, there are ways to improve the temperature while keeping the costs down. Hopefully, this post has highlighted how to do it.