If your electricity bills were too high this summer, this could be the ideal time to consider exploring ways to make your cooling system more efficient. The cheapest way might involve installing a window fan in the far room of a house. Still, equally effective measures include improving the ductwork and fixing or replacing your old air conditioning unit. This is the most effective and desirable solution, considering the increased efficiency of more recent models.
Ideas For Reducing Your Air Conditioning Bill
The biggest bill for a house is almost always paying for the HVAC unit. The entire system is complex because it means pumping air that is thermally altered by an external electric appliance. It is more difficult to dump heat during the hottest hours of summer, and running an electric air conditioner during winter is expensive just because the air can be so cold in some regions.
There are a lot of ways to make small improvements in your system. The most important thing is to fix your air conditioner and ensure there are no leaks in the ducting. These leaks can be easily repaired by duct tape, but having someone inspect the condition might be easier than crawling through the spaces of your property yourself. Other solutions include improving the insulation of the house, although an HVAC repair person can usually point out the bulk of the probable causes and most desirable fixes.
It pays to purchase Energy Star appliances. Many products sold on the market these days, especially for smaller and medium suburban homes, tend to be energy efficient and have to be rated by an agency to ensure it meets particular standards. As the Energy Star label has been around for a while, a new unit might be more efficient than one approved and prorated two decades ago. They save you money if used properly and are also in good repair.
Energy Star-rated appliances are known to be about 10 to 14 percent more efficient, which can make a big difference when the bill is potentially a few hundred dollars a month. Very efficient appliances might use smaller pipes for the refrigerant and a more dense thermal transfer grid. Because the pipes might be finer, it could also be that the system is less robust and needs to be maintained more frequently. An HVAC unit should be inspected once every two years, and the refrigerant cleaned once a decade.
New Units are the most efficient. Older units with the compression pump replaced will work at almost factory condition just because the rest of the system is passive. This is what the repair person provides for you; they keep an expensive and valuable appliance in good repair, preserving its value and saving a few hundred dollars worth of electricity each year.
Thermostat Modifications and Settings
In the past, the temperature setting of an HVAC unit was controlled with a dial that was turned, and no microchip was involved in helping regulate cooling. Instead, the temperature was gauged with analog devices, and the unit clicked on and off with reasonable but imprecise efficiency. Digital devices are more precise and have many more settings.
Imagine having the air conditioner set itself to a less demanding temperature during the heat of the day or else be set to take advantage of nighttime temperatures by either taking a siesta or dumping the household temperature. At the same time, electricity is cheaper in the middle of the night. A person who researches these things can fiddle with the automatic settings and possibly save quite a bit of money.
People are comfortable at a temperature of around 72 to 80 degrees. The setting can be placed higher without increasing discomfort greatly. On the other hand, it is not a good idea to let indoor temperatures exceed 85 degrees just because it increases the humidity a bit too much for the welfare of furniture and drywall. The air conditioner should not be turned off entirely because the cooling effect strips moisture from the air.
Try To Limit Heat Sources During the Day
Conventional incandescent bulbs can add considerably to household temperature if they are left burning too much but otherwise are an insignificant heat source. Using the oven during summer contributes quite a bit to household head. In fact, people used to avoid baking during summer in the years before electricity and central cooling were a thing.
Another source of heat is hot water. These devices are usually kept in garages and basements but might still add a fair amount of heat to a house. A hot shower adds both heat and humidity to a house. Anything that is dark-colored in a room will trap a small amount of heat. A tree outside provides a lot of shade while also allowing light in through the windows.