Many consumers are looking for ways to use their air conditioners less and save more on their energy bills. Austin summers are hot and stepping into an air conditioned home at the end of the day is a welcome relief for many Texas residents. Here are a few money-saving tips for using your air conditioner more efficiently without sacrificing comfort.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat saves money because you can set the temperature to a higher setting during the day while everyone is away and lower it just before everyone arrives in the evening. Using fans along with your air conditioner makes it possible to raise the temperature as much as 5 degrees more without feeling any less cool. If you are not technologically-inclined don’t worry, you can get an AC contractor to install your new thermostat quick and easy.
Turn it Up
The less you use your air conditioner, the more money you save and one way to do that without sacrificing comfort is to turn the thermostat up a few degrees until you reach your comfort setting. The U.S Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat at 78 degrees or more for maximum savings. It is estimated that homeowners can save 10 to 30% on their utility bills by increasing their indoor temperature for a period of 8 hours or more per day.
Solar Window Screens
Solar window screens save money by reducing glare and reflecting the heat that transfers through windows on a hot day. Your air conditioner cycles less often because there is not as much humidity to remove due to reduced heat transfer. Reflective window film does the same job for a little less money and is completely removable if you decide to relocate.
Take Advantage of Geo-thermal Cooling
If you have a basement or cellar you should take advantage of geo-thermal cooling. Most basements tend to stay around 70 degrees which feels nice in the summer when upstairs is in the 90’s. This is because that part of the house is underground with no windows to generate heat. Many people have built homes that are partially submerged to take advantage of the natural insulation of the surrounding earth; it stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Plant Shade-Producing Foliage
Depending on what side your windows face, you should make sure to have plenty of shade on the sunny side of your home to reduce your cooling needs. Shady trees and shrubs planted around the side that gets the most sun blocks the heat from radiating through walls and windows. If you don’t have trees or shrubs you can install roller blinds or retractable awnings that will do the same job but are a bit more costly. After the initial cost of installation, the return on investment comes from the additional money saved on energy costs.
Seal Air Leaks
Sealing air leaks also helps your air conditioner run more efficiently. Insulation and weather stripping keep the hot air out and the cool air in, resulting in a savings for homeowners in the summer a well as in the winter. The best way to stay cool without lowering the thermostat is to create an airtight environment inside the home where the temperature stays consistent.
Saving money on air conditioning costs in Austin is easy following these steps. If you would like to know more about energy-saving appliances and heating and cooling systems, contact us at ABA Heating and Cooling. We are experts in AC repair in Austin and provide comfort services for Austin and surrounding areas.