Tips to Reduce Air Conditioning Costs
Your air conditioning’s had a good long rest in the winter, but now that spring’s here, you’ll soon find yourself putting it on full blast on the first hot spring day. And with the AC running… well, you know what that means, right? Yep, higher energy bills! There are ways, however, for you to reduce air conditioning costs and still stay cool and comfortable. Here are some helpful tips to staying cool this spring (and also when summer rolls in) without breaking the bank.
Bring on the shade. A considerable amount of unwanted heat getting into your homes or buildings comes through the windows. Clothe your windows by putting up shades, solar screens, or insulating curtains to block the heat from the sun before it enters the house. This simple and inexpensive tip can save you up to 7% on cooling costs! Shading your house or building with leafy trees and vines will also help.
Go for CFLs. The energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs give off much less heat than incandescent light bulbs, and can help cut energy costs associated with cooling. Better to switch to CFLs. With the standard CFL costing just around $3 to $5, you’re looking at a short payback period of less than a year.
Invest in a programmable thermostat. If your central air conditioning system is controlled by a thermostat, it might be in your best interests to upgrade to a programmable one. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature a couple of degrees warmer when you’re at work and a comfortable 78 degrees when you’re home. This little maneuver can reduce air conditioning costs by 5% or more.
Clean or replace your air filter. Have you been neglecting your air filters? A dirty air filter can seriously impact the performance of your AC system. It reduces airflow, which causes the AC system to work twice as hard and use more energy. The result is a painful increase in energy costs. It’s recommended to check or replace your air filters monthly.
Seal those leaks. Got leaks on those air ducts? Then you’re probably losing 20% or more of the air moving through the duct system. That’s a lot of cool air wasted… cool air that you’re actually paying for. Inspect your house (particularly the crawlspaces, attic, and basement) for leaks and seal the ducts with foil tape, mastic, or butyl tape. Make sure you insulate the ducts after you seal the leaks. A properly sealed duct system not only makes your home or building more comfortable, it also makes it more energy-efficient, effectively reducing air conditioning costs.
Get a tune-up! When was the last time you had an air conditioner tune-up? We strongly recommend you get your AC tuned up regularly. Lack of maintenance leads to your AC system using more energy; it also leads to a much shorter service life. The longer you hold off on that tune-up, the more your AC will deteriorate, perhaps even beyond repair. Don’t let it get to that point. Take advantage of our WOW! Membership. For only $199/year or $19/month you can receive a variety of benefits and give you peace-of-mind with bi-annual tune-ups of both your air conditioner and your furnace.
The earlier you get started on these tips to reduce air conditioning costs, the sooner you’ll get to see the effect on your utility bills. If you need help with some of these tips – thermostat installation, tune-up, ductwork – don’t hesitate to contact Paul’s Plumbing, Heating & AC. Our Reno air conditioning service technicians are ready to help! Call us at 775-312-3030 or schedule a service here!