It’s the thick of summer and most of us are already feeling the heatwave all too keenly. Besides feeling it in every inch of your body, you might be feeling it in the bank balance, too. We all expect the costs of cooling the home to increase as we rely on our HVAC systems more regularly, but how much is too much?
If you’re concerned your cooling bills are getting out of control, here are some ways that you can help reign it in. We’ll look at other ways you can cool the home, as well as the means by which you can make your HVAC system much more effective and efficient.
Use your Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan is always a wise investment for rooms that can use a little more help moving the cool air around. The cooled air that comes out of the air conditioner is dispersed much more evenly and easily. It doesn’t necessarily cool the room down anymore, it just makes it much more comfortable and spreads the cool so that parts of the room don’t feel significantly hotter.
As a result, you can justify turning up the thermostat by a couple of degrees. Just ensure that you don’t keep the fan on when no-one’s in the room. It’s cheaper than relying more on your AC, but it still contributes to the energy bill.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
You might not need to rely on your thermostat quite as much as you do. Many homeowners set it and forget it. Even as the day gets cooler, the AC works just as hard to provide cool air when you don’t necessarily need it.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set the home at different temperatures throughout the day. You can set it so that it’s kept most active during the day when the sun is shining at its brightest and let it relax when it’s getting darker and cooler.
Make Better Use of your Windows
It’s tempting to open the windows on a hot day to let the air circulate. However, so long as you have a working HVAC system, you don’t need to. The vents will do that for you and opening the window only lets warm air in the home. Instead, keep the windows closed and the sun out using blackout blinds, shades, or shutters.
At night, you can open the window back up, as the air outside is much more likely to be cooler, allowing you to rely on your AC a little less as it gets later into the evening.
Take a Closer look at your Ventilation System
If you’re finding it hard to cool the house down using the AC alone and it’s driving up your costs, the problem could be with your ventilation and ductwork. If they’re poorly fitted, poorly insulated, or they have cracks, gaps, and holes, this lets air escape.
The air that your AC is working hard to cool won’t fully reach where it’s supposed to. As a result, you might find that certain parts of the home are much cooler than the rest of it. This is a sign that the cool air is leaking out where it’s not supposed to. Remember to clean your vents and replace dirty or clogged air filters. When dust gets trapped in air filters, it makes the air thick with dust, which means it carries heat and humidity more easily.
Take Care of your Air Conditioner
Your HVAC systems require regular maintenance. There’s a whole host of problems that can stress the machines out, make them less energy efficient, and less effective at their job. The more problems they have, the harder they have to work to ensure that the air temperature matches the temp set on the thermostat.
Have a professional clean your system, replace the necessary filters, and check for smaller problems at least once a year. If you’re experiencing serious problems cooling down the home, have them take a more thorough look. Ensure your system is running as optimally as possible and stop wasting energy.
Don’t let the costs of cooling your home make you choose between comfort and economics. The tips above can help you beat the heat while beating your costs back down at the same time.