As the temperature rises, so too does your energy bill. Your central air system will be working overtime to combat heat and humidity while taking a hefty toll on your bank account. However, your energy costs during the dog days of summer don’t necessarily have to skyrocket. By using your AC smarter, you’ll save some serious cash without sacrificing your comfort.
Program Your Thermostat
Most homeowners have a programmable thermostat. Few of them bother to program it. That’s a shame because setting your AC to run on a schedule can help cut your cooling costs significantly.
Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the settings on your thermostat. You’ll likely find the option to create a Monday-Friday schedule. This will allow you to set a schedule around your typical work week. For example, if you’re comfortable at 72 degrees, schedule the thermostat to operate at 82 degrees while you’re away. You can also set it to run at a higher temperature while you’re sleeping.
By programming your thermostat, you can save up to $180 a year in cooling and heating costs.
Change Your Filter Every Month
The air filter plays an important role in the performance of your HVAC. It not only prevents debris from jamming up sensitive components but it also traps airborne particles to improve your indoor air quality. So, you owe it to yourself to keep it clean.
A dirty filter forces your AC to work harder to distribute the volume of air required to cool your home. This extra effort will be reflected in your energy bill. Additionally, a clogged filter can actually lead your unit to freeze up. That’s an expensive repair. Set a reminder on your phone to change out your filter every 30 days.
Like anything mechanical, your HVAC system requires routine maintenance to operate efficiently. The HVAC pro will conduct a variety of tasks during an annual tune-up, such as:
Lubricate moving parts
Check coolant level
Calibrate thermostat settings
Clean out condensate drain
Clean the coils
These steps can help your AC run more efficiently, lowering your cooling costs as a result. It will also help prevent breakdowns, which is the last thing you want to happen during a sweltering Wisconsin summer. Repair bills, by the way, are almost always more expensive than the cost of a tune-up.
Use Thermal Curtains
Most people associate thermal curtains with the winter. However, this product is just as effective in keeping cool air inside and hot air out. Most thermal curtains are dark. By keeping them closed on the south side of your home, you can block the sun's rays. Lower temperatures in your home during the day will mean that your air conditioner will have to run less often.
Use Ceiling Fans
Don’t underestimate the power of a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan can make a space feel up to eight degrees cooler, similar to a cool breeze on a hot day. That means you can adjust your thermostat to a higher setpoint and you won’t notice much of a difference. If you're more comfortable at a slightly higher ambient temperature, your HVAC will run less frequently and save you some money in the long run.
Running a ceiling fan in the proper direction -- counterclockwise -- can also help distribute the cool air produced by your AC system.
Bottom line: If you're looking for ways to cut your cooling costs this summer, be sure to check with Southport Home Services. We serve the Caledonia area, and we'd be more than happy to come out and provide the AC maintenance you need. Give us a call today at (262) 383-4040 to set up an appointment.