Summer has officially begun! The Texas heat is starting to rise and that means the costs of using air conditioning will also increase. For some, using AC around the clock is the only way they can be comfortable in their homes. They may not care about paying almost double in electricity costs each month, or maybe they just feel that it’s worth the money. However, for others, paying double during the long summer is not an option at all. If that’s you, here are some simple ways to cool down your costs on AC over the next few months.
Keep Your HVAC System Maintained
Throughout the year, you should be keeping up with your HVAC system by changing the filters, cleaning around the area of the unit, checking the coils, making sure the unit is level, etc. Dirty filters and coils can actually block the airflow into your home, causing the unit to work harder to cool the house. Here is a great list on how to easily take care of your unit.
According to NEAMB.com “Cleaning and/or replacing filters once per month will lower an AC’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.”
Ensuring that your system is consistently maintained will save you money in the long run. Having to replace your unit because it was not properly maintained will cost far more than those high electricity bills over the summer.
Check for Drafts
Take a few minutes during the late afternoon, around 3-4pm, to check for drafts around the house. Run your hands along windows and doors that lead directly outside. Four o’clock in the afternoon is typically the hottest part of the day so it will be easy to feel if cool drafts are leaking out of your home.
No one wants to pay for cooling the neighborhood, so if you feel drafts coming from your house, you may want to look into replacing the insulation around those doors and windows. Don’t let that precious cool air escape, especially when the temperature starts rising to over 100 degrees!
Turn on your Ceiling Fans
Using fans throughout your home can make it feel between 6-10 degrees cooler in a given room. Fans use much, much less electricity – about one-tenth of what is used by AC. That’s a pretty inexpensive way to make your home feel cool.
Using your air conditioner and ceiling fans at the same time also helps to keep the air circulated without turning the AC down too low, thus saving you money once again.
Close the Blinds and Curtains
Everyone loves letting the natural sunlight illuminate their homes but during the hottest part of the summer, that beautiful sunlight just might not be worth it. By closing your blinds and curtains, you can “reduce heat gain by around 45%,” the article by HEAMB stated. Drawing your curtains also helps to insulate your home by blocking the hot air seeping through the windows.
If it still feels like heat is getting in despite your curtains and shades being drawn, you may want to try using heat-reflecting curtains or shades. You can find these at almost any home store, such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Walmart, or Target and they are typically not expensive.
Be Economically Smart
If you are keeping in line with the previous tips by closing your blinds and using fans, this will allow you to keep you from turning the AC unit down too low when you’re home. Try to set your air as high as comfortably possible and, NEAMB says, you could potentially save another 10%.
When you’re not home, turn the AC up very high or simply turn it off completely right before you leave the house. A common myth regarding air conditioning is that your AC unit will run more economically if you leave it on all the time and that is simply not the case. It runs best when at its highest capacity for a short amount of time.
If you have a programmable thermostat, you may want to take advantage of it by setting it at a higher temperature when you leave for work and program it to turn down a little while before you come home. If you’re without these luxuries, you may just have to brave the warmth inside your house for a short bit while your AC kicks in.
All of us here at First Western Title wish you a fun-filled summer regardless of the heat! Please leave a comment below to let us know if this was helpful to you or a client.
Comments? Questions? Contact your local Title rep today!