Let’s face it, August can be an unforgivably scorching month. In the face of such heat and humidity, many of us will seek refuge in the cool breeze of our air conditioning systems.
While a practical necessity during the dead heat of summer, air conditioners can often be a costly addition to any utility bill. Did you know that air conditioners cost U.S. homeowners a staggering $11 million annually? Additionally, when air conditioners are not functioning efficiently, they use a great deal of electricity and greenhouse gases, and account for 5% of all of the electricity produced in the country.
Luckily, there are ways to reduce the costs of utility bills attributed to air conditioning services, as well as reduce your carbon footprint in the process.
Here are three ways to keep your utility costs cool for the remainder of summer:
Be a Fan of Fans
- Ceiling fans are an effective means of making the most of your air conditioning. Did you know that a ceiling fan costs less than a penny an hour to run? In contrast, air conditioners cost a comparative 36 cents per hour. To get the most out of your cooling systems and to effectively lower you cooling bills, use a ceiling or standing fan in conjunction to your air conditioning. The fan will allow the air to better circulate throughout your home, allowing you to set your thermostat a little higher than you would normally have to.
- Practice Weatherization
As demonstrated in previous posts, home weatherization is a vital aspect of any energy efficient home and to keeping your home cool in a cost-effective manner. To practice home weatherization, properly seal all areas in which outside air can infiltrate your home. Good places to check for weatherization are basements and attics, where air leaks and leaking air ducts can run rampant. In fact, failing to properly weatherize an attic can at times result in a loss of up to 40% of cooling energy in a single home.
- Maintain Your HVAC Equipment
Did you know that properly maintaining your heating and cooling equipment can not only make it run more efficiently, but can save you a great deal of utility costs and energy expenditure in the long run? Practicing proper maintenance such as replacing air conditioner filters regularly and updating outdated equipment (if an air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it may require replacement) are ways to keep your cooling costs down while staying as comfortable as possible during the hot and cold seasons.