Space Cooling is your home’s second biggest energy consumer. With these simple yet effective energy cost reduction tips you can save money on utilities and reduce electricity bills significantly.
Here’s how to save money on air conditioning:
Most people freeze their house in the summer, and boil it in winter.
Just by adjusting the correct temperature you can lower electric bills significantly!
Setting the thermostat just 2÷F (1÷C) higher will save you 5%-10% on cooling expenses!
Set your thermostat to a 74÷F (23÷C). This temperature is comfortable enough, and will reduce your energy consumption and cut your utility bill.
As much as 25% of your cooling expenses are wasted to air leaks. An afternoon spent on detecting and fixing leaks will pay itself a time fold, and is a big step towards energy cost reduction and cheap utility bills.
There are many cheap ways to find an air leak:
- If you see a crack – you’ve got a leak.
- If you can feel the cool air slipping outside beneath the door or under the window – that’s a leak.
- Try holding a feather around the windows and doors. If it moves – it’s a leak.
- Have someone light incense on the outside and put it near the windows or doors. If you can smell it inside – you have a leak. You can do the opposite – light it inside and look for the leak from the outside.
Look for leaks around window and door frames, fireplaces and attics as well as dryer vents, mail slots, electric outlets, pipes, gaps around air conditioners etc.
Air leaks around doors and windows can be easily fixed using either weather striping or caulking. Most caulking products cost under $10 on Amazon or eBay. Caulking Rope, one of the easiest types to apply sells for about 1$ per 10 feet on Amazon & eBay.
Air sealing your home will get you cheap utility bills during winter too, as it is crucial for keeping the heat inside.
If your home is not properly insulated, you are throwing money away!
Extra insulation usually pay’s itself in 1 or 2 years and helps saving the environment too.
Take a look around the attic – good insulation should be around 6 inches to 1 foot.
In summer heat tend to build up in the attic to very high temperatures. Poor insulation let that heat radiate into the house, increasing your A/C’s energy consumption and resulting in high electric bills.
Proper insulation crucial for energy cost reduction, and can save 5%-10% from your cooling costs. It will lower your electric bills during winter too, as it will help keeping the heat inside.
Double Glazed windows insulate much better then regular windows, and will cut between 10%-15% from your Air-Conditioning costs!
Needles to say that with double glazing you get to save money on electricity all year round, as they also help keeping the heat in winter.
They aren’t cheap, but play important role in energy cost reduction and will pay themselves after 3 to 4 years.
If you don’t have mini blinds on your windows – get them. Direct sunlight will increase the amount of required A/C considerably.
You don’t have to keep them down all day long. Roll them down only when you need to block the direct sunlight. Dark curtains will do the job with similar results
Do the exact opposite in the winter, of course. Let the sun in to help heat your home with passive solar energy.
Dismantle the air filter, clean it thoroughly in the shower or with a hose, let it dry and re-install it.
A clogged air-filter reduces the A/C efficiency, making it work harder, increasing its energy use and shortening its life, not to mention that it is an ideal place for bacteria to grow.
Close all doors and vents in unused rooms, and get some free energy cost savings.
Ceiling fans doesn’t cost much, and they consume a fraction of the electricity an A/C system does.
They create a very pleasant air flow in the room they are installed in, eliminating the need for A/C almost all year round.
The overall feeling, when using a ceiling fan is 16÷F (8÷C) cooler than the actual ambient temperature.
In mild weather a ceiling fan can replace A/C, but if you’re living where it’s too hot – it doesn’t mean that ceiling fans aren’t for you.
With ceiling fans installed throughout your home, you can raise the thermostat on your air conditioner by as much as 10÷F (5÷C), which will lower your electric bill by 40%!.
Personally, I prefer sleeping with a fan above the bed than with an A/C.
Installing ceiling fans is one of the cheapest ways for energy cost reduction.
All the benefits of a ceiling fan, without the hassle of installing it. Simply take it along as you move from room to room.
During summer, the space between your ceiling and the roof accumulate heat, and temperature easily reaches 120÷F-140÷F (50÷C-60÷C). Even if you have good insulation in your ceiling, that heat will eventually find its way to your home.
Roof turbine is a free spinning device which uses no electricity or any other power source.
Even light breeze will make it turn, sucking the heat away from the space above your ceiling, significantly lowering the temperature of your home and saving you a lot of money.
Roof turbines are rain proof, easy to install and don’t cost much – the good ones cost around $60, are made of aluminum, has a hurricane rating and comes with a 10 year warranty.
Although not suitable for humid climate, evaporative coolers (sometimes called desert coolers) do a pretty good job in dry climate, and in many cases can substitute an A/C system, delivering energy cost reduction at a bargain price.
They are simple devices, cheep, consume very little electricity and require no installation. You just roll them into the room, plug them into the outlet, fill up some water and you’re done.
Evaporative coolers cool by blowing air over water. When water evaporates – they cool down and cool the air flowing over them. You get a nice cool breeze.
When it’s really hot outside, A/C becomes very inefficient. Desert coolers, on the other hand work better as outside temperature rises, as long as the air in not too humid.
No matter how good your home is insulated, direct sunlight will eventually heat it up. Trees do an excellent job at shading your house and reducing the amount of required A/C, giving you energy cost reduction for free!
Trees also serve as good wind breakers in winter.
If in direct sunlight, you’re A/C will use 5%-10% more electricity than if it was in the shade.
For best results install the compressor unit on the shadiest side of your house (usually the north side), and make sure the area is well ventilated and nothing blocks the compressor’s ventilation.
If you have weeds or shrubs growing near the A/C unit, trim them for best airflow.
The same applies to portable air conditioners. Put them out of direct sunlight, and near a window facing north, if possible.
If you have a fireplace, make sure it is air tight in summer. Close the damper and make sure it fits tight.
Ventilate your home during those hours when the outside air is cooler.
At night, close the A/C and open the windows and doors to let the cooler air in. Comes morning, close them back, lower the shutters and keep the coolness for as long as possible.
Moving Forward with Energy Cost Reduction
There are many more ways to save money on air conditioning.
All the electricity you use for lightning, appliances, cooking, electronics etc. generates heat. Plenty of heat!
Without noticing, you have numerous heat producing devices scattered all over your house, heating it up while you are trying to cool it down.
This means that when you save energy on lightning, for example, you get double savings, because when you use less power for lightning you generate less heat – saving money on space cooling as a bonus.
The same applies to Refrigeration, Appliances, Electronics, Cooking and many more.
Continue discovering more ways to Lower My Electric Bill with double savings on Lighting.