If a home was a person and comfort was food, there wouldn’t be a balanced diet without proper air conditioning. In other words, although an air conditioner is a big investment, it is also a huge necessity in any single-family residential home or office building. It keeps your indoor environment cool and comfortable during the sweltering months or days throughout the summer season. It is even more convenient when used in combination with a heating unit such as a furnace or boiler, making it both a heating, cooling, and a vital part of the home’s ventilation system.
However, a great deal of energy consumption in most homes in the U.S. goes to air conditioning, especially during summer. A good portion of homeowners and commercial property owners end up complaining about unbelievably high energy use on their utility bills from air conditioning use during the hottest month of the year. But the truth is, there are some important things you can keep in check and you’ll reduce your energy bills by a significant amount. Want to keep your utility bills down when running your air conditioner hard in order to keep your home cool? Here are 5 crucial tips on how to save money on your air conditioning energy bills
CRUCIAL TIP #1 – Be Consistent About Maintenance On Your Air Conditioning System
An air conditioning system that is not properly maintained will in most cases be more prone to problems that make it less efficient to operate. Problems such as condensate leaks or dirty air filters, make the air conditioning unit work harder to cool your home as free air flow is obstructed, thus leading to lower energy efficiency and higher utility bills. To avoid common air conditioning problems and save on your air conditioning bills, be sure to keep it well maintained by changing air filters, lubricating motor parts, and realigning the coil fins on the condenser if they get bent. The best way to ensure you’re air conditioner stays in good shape is to schedule a professional HVAC maintenance service. In many cases, a problem occurs or you notice unusual signs in your home cooling system, it is important to call a professional heating and air contractor right away for the necessary repairs to be conducted ASAP before they can turn into a worse problem that will spike your energy consumption and possible repair bills even higher.
CRUCIAL TIP #2 – Make Use Of Mini Split Air Conditioners When Possible
Of course, central air conditioning is more energy efficient as compared to having multiple air conditioning units for each room if you have a big house. However, there are situations where individual units can also be more advantageous. For instance, consider the situation where you only need to cool a single room in your entire home, say the bedroom and you don’t have a zoned HVAC system. In such a case, you will save more if you have a mini split air conditioning unit just for that specific room. A mini split, also known as a ductless system, will save you as much as 50% of energy as compared to whole house systems when cooling a specific room or space in your home. The other advisable option is to install a zoned air conditioning system, which allows you to control the temperature settings for each individual room. You can even shut the system in some rooms and keep it running in others.
CRUCIAL TIP #3 – Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
The other common cause of low air conditioner efficiency is the ductwork. If your ductwork runs through your roofing spaces like the attic for instance, adding attic and ductwork insulation is a sure way of ensuring that air doesn’t get heated up by the heat coming from your metallic or asphalt roofing shingles above, since this can again, cause the system to overwork and end up consuming considerably more energy to cool your home. Such air ducts should be insulated to avoid this situation. Additionally, air ducts are also prone to the accumulation of particulate matter, dust, debris, and airborne allergens. When left to accumulate in ductwork, the debris buildup can reduce your air conditioning efficiency, so it’s a good idea to schedule air duct cleaning every once in a while, say once every 1-3 years. Promoting airflow by keeping your vents open and clean is also a sure way of reducing your cooling costs during the hot season according to Adam Dachis.
In addition to the above, it is also recommendable that you turn the air conditioner setting on your thermostat up to a higher temperature when away from home and keep your windows closed. Turn the unit lower at night since in most cases it will require less running time keep your home comfortable. Attic fans or ceiling fans can also be a great backup that you can turn on when the air conditioner is off to cool the rooms in your home and save energy. Additionally, it’s always a great idea to go for Energy Star rated units during air conditioning installation or replacement.