Get a Cool, Comfortable Home for Less with These 7 Tips
February 5, 2018
Most Americans live today in homes that have air conditioning. Large parts of the country are more comfortable to live in because of heating and air conditioning units. It is hard to imagine living through summers in the United States without it. The problem is that it can cost a lot. A home’s heating and air conditioning unit can account for about 48% of the energy bills. The good news is that you can take steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer. Here are a few:
- Upgrade your system. Energy Star rated products such as air conditioner units and furnaces can cut your energy bills by between 20% and 50%. As if that was not a good enough reason to look at changing out your older heating and cooling services for newer models, there may even be tax breaks you can get for making this upgrade. Check with the person who prepares your taxes to see if there are any tax programs you can take advantage of to get your upgrade paid for. It is worth it to ask, at least.
- Pay attention to your thermostat. Look at where you have your thermostat and what kind you have. If you have not yet switched to a digital version, you should. These are easy to put in or you can have general contractors do it for you. You can get thermostats that can be programmed to only cool your home when someone is at home. You also need to place it in a good spot. If you have a heat producing lamp near it, it may register the home as being warmer than it is, which will cost you more money.
- Pay attention to your air conditioning unit. If you have an air conditioning unit that is outside, you need to make sure it stays free of dirt, leaves and other debris. In order for it to work correctly, your air conditioner needs air to be able to flow freely through it. Never have outdoor furniture too close to your unit and remove any branches, leaves or other problem items from around the unit when you see them.
- Pay attention to your filters. From time to time, you should check your air filters on your air conditioning unit to make sure they are not clogged with dirt and dust. The frequency with which you will need to do this will vary depending on your lifestyle and the people who live in your home. If you have pets or people in your home suffer from allergies or asthma, you may want to check and change your filter more often than if neither is the case. Keep in mind that it is a lot less expensive to get new filters than to replace your air conditioning system.
- Pay attention to your ducts. If your ductwork is older, you can end up spending a lot more to run your air conditioning unit. It has been estimated that about 30% of the energy consumed by your air conditioner can be lost through the ducts in your home. That number can even climb to 40%. If you are concerned about your energy bills, one way to lower them is to go through your home and shore up any problems with your ducts.
- Go ductless. As was noted, ductwork can be the reason air conditioning units are not as efficient as they can be. One possible solution to this problem is to go with ductless systems. If you are not sure how these would work in your home, you can have experts in residential heating and air conditioning come to your home and let you know if this would be good for your home.
- Consider ceiling fans. These can be used to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you do not have them in your home already, you may want to look into getting some to lower your energy bills.
We all love to keep our homes cool and comfortable all summer long. These tips can help you lower your bills without sacrificing the comfort your air conditioning unit provides for you and your family.