man in open room with lots of windows

How to Reduce Air Conditioning Costs in Summer

Reduce air conditioning costs in summer. Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Summer is a time full of barbecues and beach trips. It also brings the heat, which will lead you to crank up your air conditioning. However, the costs to cool your home can add up quick. 

Here are some green tips for reducing your utility bills this summer. 

Upgrade Your Windows

If your windows are older, they may not be as energy-efficient. Consider investing in low-e windows to increase your efficiency. These are coatings made from a microscopic layer of metallic oxides, which are applied to your panes. They can help reflect heat outside, cooling your home. This sheet can also improve your windows’ insulation. 

Here are some other factors that impact the energy efficiency of your windows: 

  • Type of glass materials
  • Installation process 
  • Window placement 
  • Your home’s geographic location
  • Window frame materials

When your home’s temperature is more comfortable, you can lower your air conditioner. This can save you money on your bills. 

Seal Your Windows 

Air can escape from cracks or openings inside your windows, which can waste energy and allow cool air to leak out. This forces your air conditioning unit to work harder and raise your heating and cooling costs. 

You can caulk or weatherstrip your casement to prevent air from escaping. 

Here are some other ways to properly seal windows to consider:

  • Add shrink film
  • Apply nail polish to fill cracks
  • Place a draft snake on the bottom of your window
  • Replace loose or missing glazing
  • Install a storm window 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A smart thermostat allows you to set your desired temperature. The device then learns your preferences and keeps your home feeling nice and cool. It can also reduce energy costs by turning itself off at night or when you’re away and kicking on as soon as you return home. 

The thermostat can be controlled using an app on your phone, which makes it even more convenient to use.

Here are some of the other advantages to installing a programmable thermostat:

  • It can come with movement sensors
  • It can track energy use
  • It has easier-to-read temperature options
  • It can be compatible with other devices
  • It can tell you the local weather

Use a Ceiling Fan

Fans can circulate a cool breeze around your house. This can reduce the amount of cool air your air conditioning system needs to produce. Make sure you place the fans in areas where people gather and turn them off when you’re not home.  

Here are some other considerations to make when purchasing a ceiling fan:

  • Location 
  • Size
  • Style 
  • Control options
  • Budget 

Replace Your HVAC Air Filters

These filters prevent dust from blocking your vents, which keeps air circulating and your system running smoothly. Dirty filters force your HVAC system to work harder to circulate the air. This is why you want to replace them every few months. A clean filter also helps improve indoor air quality.

Here are the steps to replacing your filter:

  1. Shut off your HVAC unit
  2. Remove your access panels
  3. Take out the old filter
  4. Place the new one 
  5. Close the panels and turn the system back on

Keep up regular maintenance by washing and vacuuming your purifier. 

Cook Outdoors

Using indoor ovens and stovetops can generate excess heat, which can place added pressure on your air conditioning unit. Summer is the perfect time for outdoor grilling. The weather is nice, and you have an excuse to throw a family barbecue. 

Here are some tips for grilling successfully to try out:

  • Do some prep work
  • Use a grill pan 
  • Lightly coat your vegetables in olive oil before grilling
  • Season gently
  • Know the right time to add sauce 

Also, use other appliances that produce less heat, such as slow cookers or electric grills. 

Get Your Air-Conditioner Serviced 

Hire a local contractor to inspect your air conditioning system to make sure it is functioning properly. They will clean off your outdoor coils and check your voltage connections. 

Here are some other things included in a maintenance checkup:

  • Oiling the motor
  • Calibrating the thermostat
  • Checking the condenser
  • Cleaning the filters 

Having your HVAC unit serviced catches issues that can cause a rise in your energy expenses.  Before purchasing a new home, you should look into your heating and cooling system. This way, you can minimize the number of needed repairs. 

Reduce the Amount of Sunlight Entering Your Home

Sunlight can raise your home’s temperature, making it more tempting to crank up your air conditioner. Consider adding curtains or drapes. You could also plant trees by your window to block sunlight. 

Here are some other ways to keep your room cool against the heat:

  • Install an awning
  • Use blackout drapes 
  • Add a privacy film 
  • Cover your windows with aluminum foil 
  • Block light with curtain liners 

Insulate Your Garage Door 

An insulated garage door has a foam board between the back and front panels. This can help to keep cool air in during the summer and prevent energy leaks. In addition, insulation can also act as a noise barrier. 

Here are some of the different types of insulation materials to choose from:

  • Fiberglass: This is the most commonly used in garages. It comes in precut batts and long blankets.
  • Cellulose: The material is made from recycled newspaper and is blown into the wall. It is only used for finished garage walls and ceilings.
  • Rigid foam: The foam comes in sheets and is commonly made from polystyrene. It offers a high R-value and can be cut to fit into most spaces. 
  • Spray foam: This is typically used for energy-efficient construction projects. It has a good R-value and air-sealing properties. 

Move to Lower Ground

Heat rises upward, so consider gathering in downstairs rooms during the summer. This way, you can leave your air conditioner running on a lower setting and turn your thermostat up at night. 

Here are some tips for staying cool at night: 

  • Take a cold shower before bed
  • Close windows during the day 
  • Open windows at night after the sun goes down
  • Exercise earlier in the day 
  • Choose cotton or linen bedding 
  • Stay hydrated 

How to Beat the Heat and Save Money

During the summer, you want your house to be a place where you can escape the heat. This often means running your air conditioner. Consider these tips to help save money and stay cool.

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