It is an accepted fact that as much as 16% of a homes electric costs can be used by a home air conditioner. During the summer it can even rise to 60-70%. The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to reduce your energy usage.
Air Conditioning Filter
Probably the easiest thing to do with the biggest impact on your usage is making sure that your filters are kept clean. During the summer months you should clean or replace your filter every month. When you replace the filter it allows the air to pass through more easily and allows your unit to work easier.
Shade Your Condenser
By shading your condenser you can cut it’s energy usage by as much as 10% or more. Keep your unit out of direct sunshine.
Replace Your Air Conditioner
If you rely on an older unit you should know that newer units are much more efficient than the older units. You can quickly recover the cost of a new unit since they can be anywhere from 30 to 50% more efficient. If you replace a unit just make sure that you buy the correctly sized unit. An Air Conditioning unit that is too small or too large for the space being cooled will only waste energy.
There are also new technologies that are being developed every day such as geothermal and split room systems that can save remarkable amounts of money while still keeping your home cool and comfortable.
Best of all though may be the wide variety of tax and utility rebates that you can get for upgrading an old system. Check with a qualified local Air Conditioning service to find out more information on the rebates offered in your area. While the best known rebates are for your income taxes, some utilities also offer to pay for you to update your air conditioner unit.
By closing vents in unused rooms you can save a significant amount of energy which translates directly into more cash in your wallet. If you have spare rooms you aren’t using why should you pay to cool them?
Raise The Temperature
By raising the temperature of your thermostat just a couple of degrees it can make a significant difference in energy usage. Every degree below 78 degrees that you lower the temperature increases your energy usage by as much as 3 to 4%.
Make sure that you use ceiling fans to keep the air circulating. The fans should be blowing the air down so that they disperse the heat rather than blowing upwards where they will do no help.
Should You Cool All Day?
It is a common belief that it costs more if you turn off your air conditioner during the day when you and your family are away than if you leave the unit running. This isn’t actually true.
The bottom line is that heat goes where it’s not. Whereas a cooling unit will be fighting against the heat all day long if you leave a unit on, turning it off when you aren’t there will actually save you a lot of energy.
Think of it this way. If your air conditioner is left on all day it will be forced to continue pulling the heat your home absorbs all day long. By turning the unit off during the day you will only need to displace the heat once, when you come back home. If you aren’t using an automatic thermostat that allows you to turn the cooling on for the times that you are home and off for the times when you are away you need to purchase one. That way you can have it set so your home will be ready and cool for you when you come home but not run all day long.
There are a whole lot of things that you can do to save money while still cooling your home in the summer. Energy and tax rebates plus added efficiencies of installing a newer unit are just a few ways.
Even if you don’t replace your unit, you can make sure that your air conditioner is running at peak efficiency. Every step that you take helps keep your money in your wallet so spend a little time thinking about the best ways you can incorporate these and other savings ideas into your home budget.