Air conditioning is a necessity for the summer, especially with the temperatures rising each year in Rhode Island. While there may have been a time when we could get away with not having to rely on our cooling systems, that’s certainly not an option now that we see more and more swelting days during spring and summer. Unfortunately, air conditioning energy costs can be quite high as well. In fact, according to Inspire Clean Energy, “heating and cooling are by far the greatest energy users in the home, making up around 40% of your electric bill.” When nearly half of your electricity bill is due to heating and cooling costs, it’s important to find ways to decrease it.
Choosing the right system
If it is time for you to replace or upgrade your current cooling system, today’s air conditioners are significantly more efficient than those even just 10 years old. According to energy.gov, you can save 20%-40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing your current system with a newer, more efficient model. An efficient unit will save you money over time with the added benefit of improved comfort. It is important to consult with an HVAC professional to ensure proper sizing and installation of any heating or cooling system. There are high-efficiency air conditioners and standard air conditioners in the market. The high-efficiency models have a higher initial cost but will reduce your home cooling costs while keeping your home comfortable and most homeowners find they get a great return on this investment.
Clean your air conditioning vents and units
A clean air conditioner will function more effectively and efficiently. Regularly maintaining the filters, coils and fins can significantly aid in your AC unit’s efficiency. Routinely replacing or cleaning the filters can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5%-15%. This is because dirt and debris block normal airflow, reducing the system’s effectiveness. When dirt or debris gets in the unit it can also impair the evaporator coils. For more tips on better indoor air quality, check out our blog here.
Minding the location and type of thermostat you’re using
If you already have a working thermostat, be sure it is not placed near windows or doors where it can have false temperature readings and cause your air conditioner to cycle on and off more frequently than necessary. If your thermostat is programmable, you may want to check the settings to ensure it is programmed according to your current household schedule. This way, it can adjust the temperature when you are away or asleep. However, if you are in the market for a new thermostat, consider choosing a smart thermostat. These thermostats can be updated anywhere you have access to Wi-Fi. Most smart thermostats also have a “learning” feature that predicts your behaviors and adapts to your routines and preferences. To learn more about how smart thermostats can save you money, read our blog here.
A few more tips
Use ceiling fans to boost efficiency (fans should rotate counter-clockwise during the summer months and clockwise during the winter months).
Schedule regular maintenance visits.
Close blinds when possible or plant trees to keep out radiant heat.
Seal windows and doors or add extra insulation to keep cool air in and hot air out.
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Have further questions regarding saving money cooling your home during the warmer months? Contact the National Refrigeration team, and we’ll find your solution.
Whether you need 24-7 emergency service or advice on improving your everyday air quality and comfort—at home and at work—call us at 401-737-2000 or email us.