Are your cooling bills rising a little too high this year? Don't worry – there are upgrades and settings that you can use to help you cut down those bills while still cooling down your home! Let's talk about a few tricks that are proven to work.
1. Use an AC System That Can Target Rooms
Targeted AC systems use a network of vents that can be opened or closed to only cool off certain sections of your home. This is a handy HVAC upgrade for larger homes or for people who only want to cool off a few rooms. The initial retrofitting cost needs to be budgeted, but afterward you can save money by only cooling down the rooms that you are actually using. For added benefit, use a smart or automated system that can turn on and off based on your habits and needs, instead of providing unnecessary cooling. To learn more, visit Cool Home Technology!
2. Switch to a Window AC Unit
If you don't want to change your entire AC system, but you do want to save money on cooling costs, think about using a window AC unit. These units are efficient, highly affordable, and can easily help you save money over time when used correctly. The key is careful planning: If you are only using one room during the evening – say, the bedroom or the living room – then put the window AC unit here and turn off other AC equipment. The window units are powerful enough to effectively cool down one room at a fraction of the power a full-house version would require. This solution is particularly effective in apartments or lofts.
3. Pay More Attention to Your Windows
Your windows may be increasing your cooling bills without you realizing it! Sunlight shining in through windows will increase the temperature of your home. During the day, close your blinds or curtains – or use solar filters that decrease the amount of solar energy that enters your house. For extra cooling, open up high windows (second story, etc.) and lower windows (first story, basement) during the evening to create a healthy airflow that removes the hottest air and takes some of the burden off your AC system.
4. Manage Your Vents and Ductwork
Take a look at all the vents in your house that supply your cool air. Are all of them fully open? Do any use vent filters? If they do, these filters need to be replaced every couple of months so they won't prevent air flow. You want your system to be as efficient as possible. The same is true of your ductwork! Take some time to shine a line into your ducts and look for any obvious cracks that may be losing you cool air. Make sure you replace your primary filter every several months so that it doesn't decrease air flow, either!
5. Know What Place Fans Have in Your House
Fans can be a valuable addition to your home AC...as long as you understand what they do. Fans do not change the temperature or cool down your house. They do make your body feel cooler by focusing air flow on your skin. So, ceiling and desk fans need to be pointed at you to do any good. Ceiling fans should be focusing air currents downward when you want them to effectively cool.
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