Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply blast the air conditioner all day in the summer, keeping the temperature as low as you’d like without worrying about the consequences? Of course, this isn’t realistic for most of us. Running the air conditioner nonstop can wear down the equipment, meaning you’ll end up replacing it sooner than expected. And you’ll notice in a short time how much this impacts your energy bills!
If you have central air conditioning, how can you reduce your bills without feeling discomfort throughout the hottest hours of the day? It’s possible; you just have to invest some time!
Turn on a fan (as long as someone is in the room)!
The truth is that ceiling fans, standing fans, and box fans don’t actually cool down a room or lower the temperature. Still, it can help you to feel cooler, as long as you are near the fan as it’s running: it helps sweat to evaporate from your skin, which naturally cools you down!
A ceiling fan uses less energy than your air conditioner, and your best bet often is to pair the two. Run your ceiling fan along with your air conditioner to help push some of that cool air down into the room. The AC might not have to run for so long, or you may get to raise the temperature, lowering your bills!
Consider a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can help to keep you cooler, at a fraction of the energy cost. We recommend a whole-house dehumidifier, one that works with your air conditioner for easy control of humidity levels throughout the home.
Humidity makes you feel warmer than the actual temperature of the room, since your body’s natural cooling methods are limited. Taking some of the humidity out of the room might allow you to use AC a lot less.
Be conscious of secondary heat sources
Don’t let your air conditioning costs go up simply because you’ve let extra heat come into the home!
- Only run heat-producing appliances like the dryer and dishwasher after peak hours, once it starts to get cool outside.
- Don’t use the oven during the daytime.
- Close the shades or blinds in the day, but open the windows at night instead of running the AC as the weather allows.
Use programmable thermostat settings
If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure you’re really taking advantage of it! Many people don’t realize how much they can save by setting the thermostat’s temperature ahead of time, for the entire week!
A reason energy tends to get wasted is that someone leaves the AC running by accident when they leave the home. This and other common thermostat mistakes, like setting the temperature too low, are prevented when you use the programmable settings correctly.
- Keep the temperature at an efficient 78° in the daytime.
- Turn the temperature up by 5-10° when you plan to leave the home, and have it readjust 20 minutes before you plan to return.
- Get a smart thermostat and save even more by tracking energy usage from an app on your smart phone.