Practical tips for lowering your AC costs this summer

There are several ways to save on energy costs related to running an air conditioner without necessarily reducing your AC usage, but simple adjustments to your home can make a difference.

The summertime is air conditioner season, and this is the time when you find that most households that have an AC unit installed are putting it to good use in an effort to keep their indoor spaces cooler than the hot and humid temperatures that summer brings with it.

Having an air conditioner is definitely convenient and makes your living spaces more comfortable when the heat becomes unbearable.

But with the use of a unit comes running expenses so, is there a way to save while still enjoying the pleasure of cooling?

Managing the usage of your air conditioner efficiently is crucial to balancing the benefits of a cooling system with the associated hefty costs.

There is no doubt that having an air conditioner is not cheap. You will have to spend money to enjoy the benefits of an efficient cooling system as air conditioners do use quite a bit of electricity, even energy-efficient models.

Choosing the right way to use your air conditioner will help you save money in some way instead of just going through hefty running costs.

How can I save money on my AC in the summer?

The cost of running an air conditioner does not have to be the reason that you suffer through the heat to avoid the stress of dealing with the bills.

There are actually various ways of saving money and they involve making the right adjustments in your home and using the air conditioner correctly and strategically.

Choose the right location for your air conditioner, particularly the outside unit. Positioning it in a shaded area where it is not in direct contact with the sun increases a unit’s efficiency.

Maintaining a comfortable temperature throughout the day can help the unit work at a constant temperature instead of at fluctuating temperatures, which make it overwork to achieve the desired temperature indoors.

Making some adjustments in your home can also help the air conditioner work better and more efficiently and, in turn, save you money.

Things such as your windows can make a huge difference. Ensuring that they do not have any air leaks will reduce the burden on your air conditioner.

In summer, even the sunlight can transmit heat through the windows so you should cover them with window films that can prevent too much sunlight entering through.

These films make for a great alternative to using heavy curtains. Finally, ensuring that your air conditioner is regularly maintained is imperative.

Coupling your air conditioner with a fan

Using ceiling fans or even or portable fans in conjunction with air conditioning can be an effective strategy to enhance comfort and potentially save on energy costs.

White the ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature in a room but rather create a wind-chill effect, making you feel cooler and much more comfortable.

Ceiling fans are most effective when used in conjunction with your air conditioner, not as a replacement, since you would not have to turn the air conditioner to its coolest temperature and have it working at its maximum power.

During very hot weather, ceiling fans alone may not provide sufficient cooling. However, using fans can help the air conditioner air circulate better.

Find out what are the best options for ceiling fans here, and this Prominence Home Alvina LED ceiling fan with light is our best recommendation.

Blocking out heat with solar screen

Your windows and doors will likely transfer sunlight into your home. You can block out a lot of light by covering your windows and doors with solar screens. Solar screens have the ability to block up to 70 percent of heat transfer.

These solar screens are designed to absorb, reflect, and disperse solar radiation, including heat and light, before it reaches the interior of a building.

They are made of materials that can effectively reduce the amount of solar energy that enters a space, thus helping to control indoor temperatures.

By blocking a significant portion of sunlight, solar screens can indeed contribute to a more comfortable indoor environment and potentially reduce the need for excessive air conditioning, especially in hot climates.

At the same time, while solar screens are effective in reducing heat transfer, they may not have a direct impact on humidity levels.

Humidity is more influenced by factors such as ventilation, insulation, and indoor activities that generate moisture.

Therefore, while solar screens can contribute to a more energy-efficient and comfortable home, they may not be the sole solution for managing humidity.

Also, the actual effectiveness of solar screens can depend on various factors, including the type of material used, the degree of shading provided, and the specific climate conditions.

If you are considering solar screens or window films, this Saint-Gobain ADFORS solar screen is our favorite option, but you can check out here for a wide variety of other options.

Be careful though to refer to product specifications to ensure you choose the right solution for your specific needs.

Unplugging heat-generating electronic and household devices

Sometimes the heat in your home is generated by other appliances around the house. These appliances need to be unplugged when they are not in use especially when the air conditioner is switched on.

Generated heat from such appliances end up increasing the overall temperatures in the home, which leads to the unit working harder to cool down an area.

A stove is one of the main culprits of this, but other electronic devices that use electricity can be to blame too.

Invest in energy-efficient air conditioners and other household appliances. Look for the Energy Star label when purchasing new appliances, as they are designed to consume less energy.

Consider investing in a smart thermostat

Investing in a smart thermostat is indeed a smart and cost-effective way to enhance the efficiency of your air conditioning system.

Smart thermostats can “learn” your heating and cooling preferences, schedule, and temperature adjustments to create a personalized program that maximizes comfort while minimizing energy consumption.

Another benefit as a smart thermostat is that it is “smart”, therefore, it can be controlled remotely through your smartphone app, allowing you to make the desired adjustments to the temperature setting even when you’re away from home.

While, indeed, there is an initial investment, the long-term energy savings achieved through the intelligent and automated control of your AC can offset the upfront costs of a smart thermostat.

On top of that, you can have insights into your energy usage patterns, helping you farther make informed decisions to reduce costs.

Smart thermostats offer a better way to control the temperature in your home, ensuring comfort when needed and energy savings when possible.

For an extra layer of convenience, we recommend a smart thermostat that can be integrated with voice-activated assistants, like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, like this Google Nest Learning Thermostat or this Energy Star Certified GE CYNC Smart Thermostat.

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