15 Ways to Reduce Air Conditioning Costs

Are you weighed down by escalating utility costs this summer? To slash AC costs without compromising comfort, you should adopt energy-saving habits, implement low-cost changes and make strategic long-term investments. Here are 15 effective strategies to use.

Adopt Good Energy Habits

Trimming air conditioning expenses may be easier than you suspect. Here are some completely free ways to ease your monthly electricity bills:

1. Keep curtains and blinds closed: Roughly 76 percent of the sunlight that streams onto standard double-pane windows goes into the building as heat. By blocking out the sun by pulling insulating curtains and blinds over your south- and west-facing windows, you minimize solar heat gain in the afternoon and reduce the necessity for air conditioning.

2. Turn up the temperature: You can save up to three percent on your AC expenses for each degree you raise the temperature. Try cranking up the temperature on your thermostat a little higher than usual and running a fan to make up the difference.

3. Flip off the lights when not in use: Lights, especially incandescent bulbs, produce a lot of heat. Turning them off when you leave the space lowers the interior heat gain your air conditioning must combat.

4. Use appliances wisely: Wait to use heat-generating appliances like the oven, dryer and dishwasher until the cooler time of the day. This strategy reduces your AC’s burden during the hot afternoon, bringing down your bill and boosting home comfort.

5. Run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans: Get rid of heat and humidity while cooking and showering to cut down the workload on your air conditioning.

Invest in Low-Cost Upgrades

If you’re willing to part with a few dollars, you can put an even larger dent in your cooling spending. Here are some cost-effective enhancements to consider:

6. Purchase a programmable thermostat: If you still have a manual thermostat, think about upgrading. A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature based on your schedule. You can cut AC bills by up to 10 percent by dialing the temperature back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours each day. Thanks to automatic recovery periods, you can appreciate these savings without inconvenience or discomfort.

7. Schedule regular maintenance: Your air conditioning needs regular checkups to ensure it runs properly and efficiently. Maintenance visits every spring also give technicians a chance to detect and take care of small issues before they grow into expensive repairs. This small, predictable cost provides a tremendous return on investment through improved efficiency and can lengthen the unit’s life.

8. Seal leaks: In lots of homes, leaky windows and doors are the culprit behind around 25 percent of its cooling energy use. Fix those irritating leaks with caulk and weatherstripping.

9. Install reflective window film: Window film reflects the sun’s rays to the exterior, reducing solar heat gain. This economical upgrade is a very good way to enhance your older windows’ efficiency without updating them.

10. Upgrade to LED lights: LEDs produce almost no heat and utilize far less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These qualities help keep your home from getting warm and cut down on lighting costs as well.

Consider Long-Term Home Investments

If you’re prepared to make more extensive changes, consider the following investments to cut cooling costs in the long run:

11. Insulate the attic: Hot air can leak through the ceiling if your attic has not been adequately insulated. Peer inside the attic, and if you don’t see a thick, even layer of insulation, consider adding more. Depending on what type of insulation you select, you could need to employ a professional for the job.

12. Plant trees for natural shade: Planting leafy trees on the south and west sides of your house reduces sunlight and produces a cool microclimate around your home, naturally cutting down on your cooling requirements.

13. Replace your windows: Old, single-pane windows let in a large amount of heat, making your air conditioner to work harder. Replacing single-pane windows with double- or triple-pane windows with state-of-the-art glazing features increases your home’s air-tightness and keeps the interior cooler.

14. Upgrade your AC system: Operating an aging air conditioner is more expensive than you might think. Upgrading from a decade-old 10 SEER model to a modern-day 15 SEER unit can save you 33 percent on your cooling bills. The savings capacity of this purchase is even higher if you’re willing to invest more up front.

15. Install solar panels: Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to power your HVAC and other electric devices. The ongoing cost savings, combined with tax incentives available through 2035, make this a worthwhile investment.

Save More on Your AC in the U.S. With Help From Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we go above and beyond the expected to make sure our customers get exceptional HVAC services that help cut air conditioning costs in the long run. Because of our high-quality products, Expert knowledge, and attention to detail, we feel confident backing our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about how we can help minimize your summer AC costs, please get in touch with the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Schedule your appointment by calling 866-397-3787 today!

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