The summer season always brings warmer weather, but this summer has been an especially hot one across the US. With these unusually high temperatures come higher air conditioning bills for many households. Here are some useful tips for reducing your AC use during this summer heat wave.
Change your filters
It is recommended that you change your AC filter once a month during the summer to combat debris build-up that blocks airflow and causes your system to work overtime–costing you money. Putting a reminder to change the filter on your calendar ahead of time will help keep your AC running efficiently.
Close your drapes or blinds
One of the nice things about summer time is all the natural sunlight. However, leaving drapes or blinds open can heat up your house significantly and run up your utility bill. Shutting blinds and drapes and even adding awnings or shutters can go a long way in cooling down your living space.
Let your trees and shrubs grow
Natural shade provided by vegetation like trees and shrubs will help lower surface temperatures around your home and thus reduce your need for AC. Consider letting your trees and shrubs grow during the summer: Landscape for Life provides some great tips and guidelines for energy-efficient landscaping in all climate types.
Rather than relying on central air, consider using a fan in the rooms in which you spend the most time. A ceiling fan alone can make a room feel 4 degrees cooler, and you’ll save money by only cooling certain areas.
If you needed another reason to fire up the grill this summer, here’s one: cooking inside can raise the temperature. Skip the oven or stove top and plan meals that can be made outside to avoid making your house even hotter.
Turn it off when you leave
Your AC works most efficiently running in short bursts rather than staying on all day, according to Good Housekeeping. Turn off your cooling system whenever you’re not around and see the benefits on your next utilities bill!
Get a home energy audit
Energy Star recommends contacting your utility provider to see if they offer free or subsidized energy audits. You can also hire a certified energy rater on your own. An audit will tell you if you have areas where cold air is escaping and tell you how you can make improvements. It can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run and will more than pay for itself by reducing your utility bill each month.
Content from Farm Bureau Financial Services