Summertime heat is brutal, and not just on your body but also on your wallet. Your air conditioner counts for more than 50% of your home’s energy consumption.
Which is why during the summertime months, when you are running your ac a lot, your electricity bill tends to skyrocket.
So how do you fix this problem while also keeping your house cool? Taking some steps to manage your air conditioner energy consumption can help this hot time of year not be so detrimental to your electric bill as well as reduce your overall energy usage.
Want to know how to reduce your ac energy consumption? We’ve got the answers! Keep reading to find out.
Supercooling is a method of managing your HVAC systems electricity usage that can reduce your energy usage by up to 25%. Essentially to supercool effectively you’ll need to figure out with your utility company what time of day costs you the least to use energy.
These low-cost hours are typical during the evening until the mid-day. During these hours you’ll crank your thermostat down to as cold as you can stand it, around 68-70, and run it at this temperature for the duration of your low-cost hours.
Once you have done this and the cost of the hours change to those that are higher rated, you’ll want to turn the thermostat back up to around 78-80 degrees. Your house will remain cooled down during this time from the supercooling you did earlier, and so your ac won't be overworked in the tough heat.
This method can be highly effective in reducing energy usage costs, while also keeping your home nice and cool during the summer.
Upgrade Your System
If your HVAC system is over 10 years old, you may want to consider investing in an upgrade.
Although this may seem like an expensive option, according to the EPA, the money you invest in energy efficiency double or triples on return investment. Meaning that you may be paying a chunk upfront, but you’ll be saving big time on your energy bill.
You want to choose a system with a high energy rating, between 14 and 18. If you have an older system, it's probably only rated between 5 and 10.
Upgrading to a system with a 15 or so rating will cost you half as much as it's costing to run an old system rated at 7, so you’ll get the return on your investment in no time.
You can make use of a programmable thermostat to help your ac system reduce its energy costs. During the summertime months, you can set your thermostat to increase around 15 degrees during the day when you aren’t home.
There’s no need to overwork your system to cool a home when no ones in it. By doing this you'll save around 15% of your energy used.
The biggest benefit of having a thermostat that’s programmable is that you won't have to worry about setting it yourself. Simply program the device to change the temperature at certain times to ensure you are always saving energy and in turn saving money.
Inspect Air Filters
Dirty air filters can have a big impact on the efficiency of your unit. These filters need to be regularly inspected so they don’t get blocked by dirt and debris.
If the filters inside the unit are dirty it will put extra stress on the HVAC unit which in turn causes extra energy to be wasted. Replacing filters is easy and should be done semi-regularly to keep your system running it's best.
To take care of the filter you can either buy new ones every two or three months and replace it or simply clean the one you have to extend its life for a year.
To clean the filter, you’ll want to remove it and check to see how dirty it is. Place it under a light, and if the light doesn’t pass through its time to wash it. You can clean the filters with a toothbrush or similar tool and then soak them in soapy water.
After you let the filters dry, check to see if light passes through again. If it does those filters are good to be re-used, if not it is time to replace them. By washing your filters, you can extend their life for up to a year.
Check the Coils
The outdoor unit can sometimes collect dirt or debris around the coils, which reduces the overall efficiency of your AC system. The result of dirty coils is your unit consuming a higher amount of energy to keep your home cool.
To prevent this from happening you'll want to keep your outdoor unit clean and remove any dirt, debris, or leaves. If you notice that your unit is dirty, shut it off and remove the dirt or leave with a vacuum.
And also, don’t forget to check any rooftop units. Birds or other insects will pick these areas to nest and can in turn cause damage to your system.
Seal Windows and Doors
You want to make sure your home is protected from air leaking out. If you’re running your ac all day to cool your home but there is a draft coming from around your windows or doors, then you are basically letting your money slip through the cracks.
Air leaks can majorly impact your energy usage if a lot of air is being lost. Take the time to ensure that all your windows and door are properly sealed with weather-ready materials.
Older homes are going to be more prone to this issue so it's important that you keep an eye on these areas, so you don’t lose money from leaking air.
Another common issue with older homes that may be having a negative impact on your energy usage are not having enough insulation. Improper insulation will make it more difficult for your home to trap in the cold air that your ac system is producing.
You can talk to an energy auditor or an insulation professional for more info on your home’s current insulation. Even consider conducting an energy audit on your home to get a big-picture look at your energy usage.
Set the Thermostat to the Optimum Temperature
Everyone has their own preferred thermostat setting based on their personal level of comfort. But many HVAC systems will have a temperature range that guarantees the system is working efficiently.
Take a look at your owner’s manual or talk to your service technician to see what this range is. It's also best to maintain a steady daily temperature schedule and avoid random fluctuation, such as turning it way down on a hot day since this can cause your system to have to work a lot harder.
Cover Your Windows
You can use curtains, blinds, and drapes to help regulate the temperature inside your home. The summertime sun can add a lot of unnecessary heat to a room if your windows are left uncovered during the day.
Consider buying blinds that help block out these heated rays so that they aren’t working against your air conditioning efforts. Keep the blinds closed during the summer months and you’ll notice a big difference in how the temperature of your room feels.
Plus, your ac unit won't be forced to work so hard which will, in turn, save you money.
Schedule Routine Maintenance
If your HVAC system hasn’t been serviced in a long time it's a good idea to call a professional service company. By having a proactive maintenance plan in place you’ll stay ahead of problems before they happen.
You should also have semi-annual HVAC maintenance to ensure your unit is always performing at its more efficient settings and that all of the parts are in good condition. By keeping up with routine maintenance your energy usage will never suffer from an unknown problem or stress on your unit.
Taking Control of Your Air Conditioner Energy Consumption
By choosing one or a combination of these methods you'll be able to have a positive impact on your air conditioner energy consumption.
By reducing the amount of energy you’re consuming you’ll also be reducing your bill all while maintaining the cool home environment we all need during the summer.
We can help you. It all starts with scheduling a service call.
Looking for HVAC coupons to save on your next A/C unit or even furnace?
HVAC Maintenance Plan
Want two preventative maintenance visits per year AND VIP treatment on any repair service?