Every year, homeowners groan at the cost of heating and air conditioning. During winter months, severe cold can cause homeowners to push their thermostats further up, adding a significant amount of energy costs to their monthly bill. In the summer, the same problem occurs if temperatures are uncomfortably high, especially since cooling consumes about 40% of a homeowner’s energy costs. And with the prediction of a hot and sticky summer from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it is likely that most Americans will see a spike in their cooling bills in the upcoming months.
But there are ways to temper these bills, and use different methods to keep a house cool during the summer without having to tamper with the thermostat too much.
- Greenery. Everyone knows that trees offer shade during hot summer days, and many people, and animals, flock to the nearest one to get a break from the steaming sunshine. But not too many people realize that they can save money on the costs generated by residential AC units by strategically planting trees and shrubs around their house, and the AC unit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, shading an air conditioner with these plants can reduce energy costs as much as 25%.
- AC Replacement. Older residential AC units will likely require more energy to cool a house, as newer units come with more energy efficient parts. Homeowners should check their unit to see if it needs AC air filter replacement as well. If the filter is clogged or dirty, it can hamper an AC unit’s ability to circulate cooler air. The unit may also need AC coil replacement if the coils are not working properly. In the worst case scenario, if home air conditioning repair does not work, complete replacement may be necessary.
- Fans. The whole point of residential AC units is to replace the need for fans, but fans can actually be the key to reducing cooling costs. By placing fans, even simple, inexpensive ones, around the house, homeowners can help the cool air in their house circulate without having to continue reducing their thermostats. The U.S. Department of Energy also recommends turning the fan speed on the thermostat to low during humid days, as slower air movement helps removes additional moisture from the air.
Homeowners can also hop in the shower a few more times a day to stay cool, close their blinds, and hang out in the basement if possible. Saving on cooling this year will be essential with the impending humidity and heat coming in June, and these tips could be the key to stopping cooling bills from soaring to new heights. Find out more about this topic here.