In the average home, most of the energy bills each month go toward powering the air conditioner. This is especially true during the summer. Therefore, your AC usage is one of the first things to look at when you want to save money. A lot of guides to cutting back on energy usage recommend all sorts of fancy, new, energy-efficient equipment. This is not a feasible option for all homeowners, however. Fortunately, there are many other ways you can save without having to buy a brand-new HVAC system.
Rethink Your Landscaping
Use your outdoor landscaping to put your home in the shade all day long. Overhanging trees are very effective, but they take a while to grow. Therefore, you may want to try fast-growing shrubs instead, since these can get big enough to block out the sun in just a few growing seasons. The best placement for these shade-providing plants is on the southern and western sides of your house. This will help keep your air conditioning from having to work so hard during the hottest part of the day.
Get Your Ducts Tested
In many homes, minor fitting problems between ducts can lead to a lot of cool air escaping through the roof instead of actually entering your home. A duct blaster test is a simple way to examine your ducts to see if there are any leakages. Fixing these leaks is often a simple and affordable task, and it can make a huge difference to your energy bills.
Quit Cooling Your Home When You Aren’t There
When you are not at your home, you shouldn’t have to pay as much for air conditioning. Of course, turning your AC all the way off is not advisable since you will come home to a blazing hot house and your system will have to struggle to cool it down. However, bumping your thermostat up to around 78 degrees or so when your home is empty can help save money. If possible, install a smart thermostat to help regulate this for you. However, even just manually adjusting it each day can make a difference.
Regularly Maintain Your AC
One of the best things you can do to reduce power consumption is to reach out to Totally Cool about getting professional AC maintenance services. Most people like to schedule their checkups for early spring, right before they start having to run their AC all the time. However, you can also schedule it for fall to fix your system up after it has been working hard. A maintenance crew will help tighten up loose connections, remove buildup, top up refrigerant, and fix any other little problems with your system. This allows your system to run as efficiently as possible so it can cool down your home without having to struggle.
Seal Leaks and Gaps
Did you know that a major part of your AC could be leaking out through cracks around your doors, windows, and floors? Making your home as airtight as possible can help save a lot of energy. The method for sealing these gaps will depend on where your problem areas are. In some spots, it might be as easy as just spraying a little insulation foam in cracks. In other areas like doors, you may want to install some weatherstripping pieces.
Add Window Coverings
The sun’s rays can be a powerful source of heat that your AC has to constantly run to combat. A simple and affordable way to drop the temperature inside your home is just to keep the sun from shining in through your windows all the time. The most basic fix is closing blinds, especially in rooms you are not using. If possible, blackout curtains can be even better. These tightly woven curtains block light, and therefore heat, from entering your home and making your air conditioner work harder.
Get Professional Assistance
When you want to lower your utility bills, the experts at Totally Cool can help. We’ve spent over 30 years helping Austin residents keep their homes comfortable. In addition to maintaining your AC system, we can recommend ways to make your home more airtight. We are also happy to assist with repairs, maintenance and installations on HVAC equipment. Find out more about our services by giving us a call now.