According to the United States Department of Energy, air conditioning and heating your home can take a 43% bite from your utility bill every month. To reduce these costs during summer, here are some tips for you to consider.
Shade Your Home
Most of the heat that accumulates inside a home comes directly from the sun as it shines through the windows or onto the roof. Planting leafy trees all around your home’s exterior will effectively lower the amount of heat reaching your home. According to the Department of Energy, if the shrubs or trees shade your AC, you could boost its efficiency by up to 10%.
Protect Your Windows
Mesh-like window screens, or solar screens, intercept up to 70% of solar energy before it gets into your home. According to the Department of Energy, window screens can be particularly effective, especially if installed on west and east facing windows.
Another effective option is the window film. Window films are transparent, metalized sheets that effectively reflect heat even before it is transmitted through glass.
However, for window films to work, windows must remain shut. Solar screens, on the other hand, do double-duty – and that’s keeping insects and heat out even when the windows are open.
Raise Your Thermostat When You Are Away
Lower your AC’s thermostat setting to about 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are at home. However, consider setting the thermostat at a higher temperature during the night or when you are not at home. According to the United States Department of Energy, increasing your AC’s temperature when away or during the night could help you save between 5%-15% on air conditioning bills.
Use a Fan
The importance of using fans is to ensure that air is effectively circulated inside your home. If possible, consider locating your fans on your home’s upper level and leave windows in the lower level open. If you live in a one-story apartment or house, the Department of Energy suggests that you have all windows near the fan closed and leave those in rooms that aren’t near the fan open.
Do Not Use the Stove
You can effectively reduce indoor heat by minimizing stove usage during summertime. Instead, consider eating cool salads or using the microwave. If you really have to boil pasta for the next day’s potluck, then do this in the evening. And again, if you really have to cook, then consider turning on the kitchen exhaust. Also, after taking a hot shower, consider turning on your bathroom’s exhaust fan.
Replace Your Air Conditioning System
Replacing your older AC with a newer model could help cut energy costs by up to 50%. When thinking of replacing your AC, it is advisable that you look for, and get a high-energy efficiency AC. The higher the air conditioner’s EER rating, the better.
Reduce Your AC’s Speed
Set your air conditioner’s fan speed on high, except on extremely humid days. On such days, have it run at a much lower speed. This is because when air moves slowly through an AC, it is able to remove moisture from the air more effectively, improving the atmosphere around your home.