Air conditioners run all summer long in Austin homes. Because our cooling systems are in constant use, it is typical to see large utility bills during the hottest months. Even if you have an older system, it is possible to lower your energy costs without sacrificing your family’s comfort. Here are a few tips to help you manage your cooling costs more efficiently.
1. Seal drafts and air leaks. Air leaks let cooled air out through small cracks and gaps under doors and around window frames. Sealing these leaks with silicone or latex caulk will keep the air inside where it belongs and keep your air conditioner from working overtime trying to keep things cool. When your system cycles too frequently it uses more energy and puts more stress on the working parts causing them to wear out sooner.
2. Change your air filters regularly. Inexpensive air filters should be changed monthly with higher-efficiency filters changed every three months. An electrostatic filter is an economical choice because it can be hosed off and reused because it is made out of charged metal so it attracts dust and other particles.
3. Get a system tune-up. A system that is working properly will also use less energy than one that isn’t. Keep to a regular maintenance schedule to keep things running smooth. You should also have a pre-season check every year prior to the beginning of the cooling season.
4. Keep windows and doors tightly closed. You probably have no idea how many times a day the doors are opened and closed on a daily basis. Young children often leave doors open or don’t close them all the way and that can let precious cooled air leak out.
5. Do laundry or wash dishes in the evening when it is cooler. Most utility companies’ rates are cheaper in the evenings after 7pm. The rates per kilowatt hour are lower because these are considered off-peak hours or low-usage hours. To maximize savings, do your laundry or run the dishwasher later in the evening when rates drop. It also puts less moisture in the air for your air conditioner to remove which means less cycling on and off.
6. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees and raise it one or two degrees when you go to bed. You can raise it as much as 5 degrees if you use a fan while you sleep. Fans do not really cool the air they just remove the heat that surrounds your body making you feel cooler.
All of these tips will help you lower energy consumption and manage your cooling costs. If your cooling system isn’t running as efficiently as it should, contact us at ABA Heating and Cooling. We can evaluate your current system and recommend a solution to your inefficient cooling problem.