When the summertime heat hits, it’s likely that your family will be spending a lot of time indoors with your air conditioner. While this can be great for your comfort, it can be costly for your wallet. Fortunately, there are some great techniques that you can implement to help keep your electricity bill down this summer season.

Use a Smart Thermostat

One of the best ways to save money this summer is to optimize your air conditioner usage. An easy and effective way to do this is with a smart thermostat. This type of thermostat will monitor your cooling system’s usage, and some models can even make suggestions on how to alter your settings to reduce your energy usage. At the very least, you can control your smart thermostat remotely in case you forget to turn your system on or off. Most models even have settings for automatically operating the system if they detect that nobody is home.

Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a cheap supplemental way to help keep your home nice and cool during the summer months. Set your fans to spin in a counterclockwise direction so they force air down onto you. The air will wick away the sweat from your skin, creating a windchill effect. As a result, you’ll likely be able to turn your thermostat up a few degrees to save energy. Plus, ceiling fans are much cheaper to run than your cooling system.

Use Exhaust Fans Regularly

When you cook on the stove or take a hot shower, you create steam. This increase in humidity will make your body feel much warmer. This can have you turning up your air conditioning system to compensate for the change. A great way to prevent this problem is to use exhaust fans. You should have a range hood over the stove and an exhaust fan in the bathroom that you use regularly. When you do, you may be able to spend less money on cooling your home and more time being comfortable.

Dry Clothes Outdoors

This next piece is less of a problem if your dryer’s in your garage, but if it’s inside, consider not using it. Since dryers need to generate heat to remove water from your clothes, they can drive up the temperature in your home. Using the sun to do the job will reduce the amount of electricity you use. It’ll also prevent your dryer from raising your home temperature and making you compensate with your AC.

Cook Outside

Just like running your dryer will create heat indoors, so will cooking inside. Instead of turning down your thermostat to compensate for the rising heat in your home, try some other useful options. You can use a microwave, craft cold meals, or opt for cooking outside on the grill or in a brick oven.

Seal Air Leaks

One of the biggest reasons for cool air loss in the summertime is air leaks in your exterior walls. You’ll want to physically run your hand along your doors and windows, as well as any outlets and light switches that are on your exterior walls. If you feel a change in temperature, then you’ll need to seal the leak. Consider using caulking, weatherstripping, or foam inserts.

Turn Down Your Water Heater Temperature

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to turn up the temperature on their water heater during the wintertime to stay warmer. However, when summertime rolls around, it’s likely that you won’t want to take showers that are as hot. You can turn down the temperature on your water heater to as low as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower your water heater is set, the more energy it will save by not having to heat your water supply as much.

Shade Windows

Windows and doors that receive direct sunlight can cause your rooms to heat up dramatically. Then, your air conditioning system will have to run continuously to combat this extra heat. You can avoid this extra run time by simply blocking out the sun. You can use curtains, blinds, or a specialized UV window film.

Unplug Appliances

Nowadays, the average home is packed full of appliances. While you may not use all of them, it’s likely that you have them all plugged in. Even in standby mode, these appliances will still use energy. Additionally, they will create excess heat that will need to be cooled down by running your home’s cooling system. Simply unplugging unused appliances is a great way to save energy in more than one way.

Beef Up Insulation

Insulation is your home’s main line of defense against the outside temperature. The higher your insulation value, the more resistant it will be to temperature changes. If you live in an older home without insulation or with little insulation, consider beefing it up. Your insulation should at least meet or exceed the recommended R-value for your area of the country.

Clean Your Vents and Ductwork

If you have a centralized air conditioning system, then you have ductwork. As air circulates throughout your home, it will pick up debris like dust and pollen. This debris can get stuck inside your ductwork and build up on the vents throughout your home. This can obstruct the free flow of air throughout your ducting and cause your cooling system to run overtime to compensate for the blockage. By having your ductwork and vents cleaned, you can ensure that your cooling system is working as efficiently as possible.

Get Your Ductwork Sealed

Over time, expansion and contraction can cause your ductwork to develop leaks and gaps. As cold air is forced through the ducting, it can be pushed out into your wall and floor cavities. Think of trying to blow through a straw with many holes in it. Your air conditioning system will have to run in overdrive to adequately create enough cold air to keep your family comfortable. Getting your ductwork sealed by a licensed professional is a great way to reduce excess energy usage.

Upgrade Your Cooling System

It’s no surprise that cooling systems are more efficient today than they were in the past. With a high focus on energy efficiency, there are many great models on the market for you to choose from. If your existing air conditioning system is over 10 years old, it may be time to consider an upgrade. You may be astonished at how much money you can save on your energy bills each month by upgrading to a more energy-efficient model.

Replace Air Filters Regularly

Your HVAC system’s air filter is there to remove unwanted toxins from the air inside your home. As your filter works, it will trap this debris and make it harder for your cooling system to force air through it. If you don’t change your air filters regularly, your cooling system will overwork and expend more energy to cool your home. Turn to us for AC maintenance, air filter replacement is included.

Expert Cooling Service

Golden Rule offers expert cooling service for the entire Des Moines, IA area. We can also help with all of your plumbing, heating, and electrical needs. Simply give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment.

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