Popsicles, pools and ice-cold drinks may relieve the scorching summer heat, but staying truly comfortable takes air conditioning. The challenge is to keep your living space cool without causing your electricity consumption to skyrocket. Our top 10 cooling tips will help you make your home into a soothing summertime oasis while keeping your energy use in check.
1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat gives you precision control over the temperature in your home. You can adjust the setting by single degrees — with no impact on your comfort but potentially reducing your electricity consumption. You can also program this kind of thermostat to cool your space when you’re home and raise the temperature when you’re away, a simple step that can save you lots of energy in the long run. Programmable thermostats can even become part of your overall smart home integrated system along with motion sensors, cameras, remote-control locks and more.
2. Get Blackout Curtains
Not every home cooling solution needs to be high-tech to be effective. Switching regular curtains for high-quality blackout shades or blinds can cut down your air conditioning usage significantly by keeping out sun heat so your AC runs less. It’s a simple and cost-effective change you can make to improve energy efficiency whether you own or rent your space.
3. Turn Off the Lights
This is an obvious power-saving move, but switching off lights does more than just cut down on electricity use. If you use incandescent or halogen bulbs, lights left on can generate heat that makes your air conditioner work harder than it needs to. That’s because those types of bulbs give off most of their energy as heat to generate light. Turning them off — or better yet, replacing them with energy-efficient alternatives — may have a noticeable impact on your electricity consumption. So change those bulbs and flick the switch!
4. Unplug Devices
Electronics, computers and appliances also generate large amounts of heat — even when they are turned off. When you’re not using them, such as overnight, unplug them or use smart power strips that let you cut the power they’re drawing.
5. Keep Vents Clear and Open
Contrary to popular belief, closing vents doesn’t save energy. Vents that are closed, blocked or covered by drapes or furniture keep your home’s air from circulating properly, causing uneven cooling and potential problems with your air conditioning unit. At the beginning of summer, check all air vents to make sure they are open and nothing is in their way. It’s also a good idea to make sure your ducts are clear. Dusty, dirty ductwork can clog air conditioner coils and filters. That reduces cooling efficiency and can lead to a full AC breakdown. Clean your ducts regularly to ensure your HVAC system runs at its best.
6. Use Fans Instead of AC
Rather than cranking up the air conditioning on hot and humid days, set a reasonable temperature and use a room fan or ceiling fan to stay cool and comfortable. With ceiling fans, the trick is to run them counter-clockwise so they pull cold air up from below and circulate it back into the room — creating a refreshing breeze. Fans use only a fraction of the energy central AC requires, and can save even more electricity if you turn them off when you leave the room.
7. Lower the Temperature of Your Water Heater
Did you know your home water heater can be the source of as much as one-fifth of your energy consumption? Lower the temperature setting by a just few degrees — and watch your energy consumption go down.
8. Use Electricity During Off-Peak Hours
Energy prices change based on overall demand and time of day. If you want to lower your monthly electricity bill, run high-consumption appliances such as your washer and dryer during off-peak hours, which are usually nighttime and weekends.
9. Fill Your Space with Greenery
Houseplants bring all kinds of benefits. They’re attractive, they purify the air in your home — and they’re also an eco-friendly way to get fresher and cooler air. That’s because when plants draw water and nutrients out of the soil they’re potted in, they release water particles through their pores to cool themselves, bringing down the air temperature around them.
10. Keep Up with Regular AC Maintenance
The best way to make sure your AC unit delivers the most cool for the least money is by keeping it in good condition. Dirty or clogged filters can lower your unit’s efficiency by 5 to 15%. Clean and replace your filters regularly to avoid a full AC breakdown or costly repairs for issues such as carbon monoxide leaks or defective materials.
Speak to one of our experts today about our cooling maintenance plans to prolong the lifespan of your AC and ensure your unit runs efficiently when you need it most.