13 Low-Cost Ways to Make Your A/C Energy-Efficient
When summer comes around, you don't have to sweat the heat or the energy bill. There are many ways you can be conscious of lowering your energy usage and remain comfortable in your own home at the same time.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat – You can save as much as 10% a year on utility bills by turning your thermostat to a higher temperature of at least 10-15 degrees for eight or more hours a day.
- Constant Fan – For more uniform room temperatures and better air circulation, run the fan on your furnace continuously throughout the summer months.
- Add Insulation – If there is less than 5" of insulation in your attic, adding more helps keep the outside temperatures outside.
- Insulate and Seal Ducts – It's most important to check the ductwork in areas like attics, crawl spaces, and garages, where the only walls are outside-walls.
- Seal Cracks and Holes – Weather stripping or caulking is great for stopping drafts from entering your home.
- Check and Adjust Registers – Leave upper floor registers open and partially or completely close basement registers during summer months. Adjust floor registers to help control air flow and even out temperatures.
- Check Cold Air Returns – Blocked cold air returns will decrease the efficiency of your system. Make sure your cold air returns have at least 6" of space between returns and any furniture or personal items.
- Turn Off Electrical Equipment – Such as TVs, computers, ovens, and lamps that put off a lot of heat when not in use.
- Use the Sun's Position – Keep the heat and sunlight out by closing the drapes on the east and west facing windows during the day.
- Landscape for Efficiency – Plant trees, vines, or shrubs around your home to produce shade on east and west exposures.
- Check Filters Monthly – Clean and replace as needed.
- Keep Outdoor Units Clean – Keep the area around your outdoor unit clean by clearing away grass clippings, leaves, or debris that accumulate around it.
- Schedule Annual Maintenance – For your air conditioning system!