If you’re like me, as soon as summer hits you start watching your electric bill like a hawk just waiting to see how much it’s going to cost you this year to keep your family cool during such hot temperatures. Nothing sends a utility bill through the roof like switching on the air conditioning, but with a few tricks, you can reduce how hard that electric bill hits your wallet this summer.
Keep The Thermostat At The Highest Possible Temperature Your Family Feels Comfortable At
While it’s always nice to come inside on a 100+ degree day and be instantly cooled by a room that’s 65-degrees, it costs a pretty penny to achieve and maintain that temperature. Air conditioners are designed to make your indoor living more comfortable, not recreate Arctic conditions! Choose a temperature that your family can agree on, maybe 75-78 degrees, and don’t budge. When family members start raising and lower the temperatures to their individual desires, the air conditioner must work harder to reach these temperatures each time and in turn, your electricity bill goes through the roof. Finding a temperature everyone is comfortable with and leaving the thermostat there keeps the air conditioner from running too often and saves you money.
Use A Programmable Thermostat
One of the most energy wasting practices to have is to keep the house at a certain temperature all day, even when nobody is home. If you’re not going to be at home for most or part of the day, get a programmable thermostat and set it to turn on 30-60 minutes before you get home. This will allow the house to cool off before you get there without having to keep it cool when you’re not. You’d be surprised how much money save with just a simple investment like a programmable thermostat.
Use Your Ceiling Fans To Circulate The Air
Most ceiling fans are relatively inexpensive and can save you a lot of money when used to help circulate the air running from your air conditioner. While an air conditioner can push air into each room through the various vents, all it’s doing is throwing the air into the room. Without the aid of a ceiling fan to push the air around and help the entire room reach temperature quicker, the air conditioner must push more cool air into a room to fill it with the cold air. Do yourself a favor and switch on those ceiling fans to help save your air conditioner from working harder and costing you more money.
Get Preventive Maintenance On Your HVAC Unit
Would you drive your car 20,000 miles without changing the oil? Would you use the same plate at dinner for a month without washing it? Well the same goes for your heating and air conditioning unit. If you don’t maintain your HVAC unit, it will eventually seize up and stop working all together. On top of changing your filter out every 30-days, you should also have a professional come out and check your HVAC’s components twice a year. They will top off the freon, check wiring, and perform a thorough inspection of your heating and cooling system to verify that everything is in good working order. Most companies offer a preventive maintenance plan that will also get you discounts on any repairs you need completed throughout the year. While preventive maintenance does cost a little more out of pocket, you’ll save your self hundreds – possibly even thousands – of dollars in repairs over the lift of your HVAC unit.
So before you end up with sticker shock the next time you get your electric bill, make sure you take these simple steps to save yourself some cooling costs this summer. All are relatively inexpensive, but will save you TONS of money in the long run.