We are heading into the hottest part of the summer. You want your home to be comfortable without the expensive energy bill. Let’s look at some ways you can reduce summer cooling costs.
Have the AC Serviced to Reduce Summer Cooling Costs
At least once a year, have your air conditioning system checked by a certified professional. AC systems rely on mechanical parts. If those parts aren’t calibrated properly or are dirty, the entire system runs less efficiently. Inefficient air conditioning costs more to run, so annual maintenance helps keep cooling costs low. If you haven’t already called for your annual AC tune-up, make an appointment today with a reputable HVAC company.
R22 System Owners
If you have an older air conditioner, it’s well worth looking into a newer, more efficient unit. The longtime industry-standard R22 refrigerant (commonly known as Freon) is being phased out over environmental concerns. R22 is one of the last remaining ozone-depleting substances in use worldwide.
In an effort to protect the Earth’s ozone layer and combat climate change, R22 will no longer be manufactured in or imported by the United States beginning in January 2020. As a result, repairs on R22 systems will be very costly. Owners of older systems should consider replacing the AC system before this ban begins or ask a professional if their existing system can be retrofitted from R22 to use a safe refrigerant, like R-410A.
Block Air Leaks
It’s common to have air leaks from cracks around windows and doors. Hot air from outdoors comes inside and cool indoor air exits the home. This makes your AC unit work harder to keep your home cool and drives up energy bills. It doesn’t take a lot of money to seal air leaks. Find air leaks and use caulk or spray foam to fill in cracks around window and door frames. Replace any weather-stripping that is old and not doing its job.
Reduce Cooling Costs by Using Fans
An easy way to reduce summer cooling costs is to use ceiling and floor fans. On cooler days and nights, turn off the AC and turn on the fans. Also, be sure to run fans at the same time as the AC. The cooling effect of the fan lets you raise the temperature on the thermostat, which reduces your energy costs. Set your ceiling fans to the counter-clockwise direction for summer. This drives the air down to cool off the room.
Replace Air Filters
To run efficiently, your AC needs a free-flowing supply of clean air. Your air filter captures any dust and debris circulating in your home. When the filter gets clogged, it reduces the flow of air which makes the AC work harder. Check the filter at least every three months and replace as needed.
Block Sunlight to Reduce Summer Cooling Costs
The sun’s radiation heats up your home. Keep the sunlight out over the summer months, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Blackout curtains and blinds work well to keep the interior dark. You can also install awnings and sunscreens on the outside of your home to help keep it shaded. These are some of the easiest options to reduce summer cooling costs.
For a long-term solution, plant a few trees and shrubs on the south and west sides of the house to block the sun from the windows. Keeping the AC unit shaded also helps it operate more efficiently.
Install and Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat in place, install one. These thermostats allow you to program ideal temperatures for when you are at home, away from home, or sleeping at night. When you are away from home, program the thermostat to raise a few degrees, saving a bit on cooling costs. Then, when you are on your way home, set it to bring the temperature down to a more comfortable level.
Elevated Home Inspections offers home inspection services to Northeastern Colorado. We can use thermal imaging cameras during your inspection to help detect air leaks and inadequate insulation. Contact us to request an appointment.