The Unfiltered Blog

July 13, 2015

8 tips to save money on home cooling costs

By Chuck Gassmann, CEO

8 tips to save money on home cooling costs

As we head into the dog days of summer, we all dread the utility bill going up along with the mercury in the thermometer. With these eight tips, you can keep your family cool and comfortable while saving money.

  1. Replace the furnace filter.
    The air conditioner coil sits on top of the furnace. So if they furnace filter is dirty or clogged, it will also affect your air conditioning. Even normal dust build-up can reduce airflow by 1 percent per week. You should replace standard 1-inch disposable filters monthly.
     
  2. Use a programmable thermostat.
    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save up to 10 percent on cooling (and heating) expenses by turning the thermostat back several degrees for eight hours a day. During periods of high humidity or extreme temperatures, we recommend you do not set the thermostat back while you’re not home, because the system will lose control over the humidity and temperature. It then has to work harder to reduce the humidity.
     
  3. Set thermostat at 74-76 degrees.
    Believe it or not, that’s the recommended temperature setting. Many of us are guilty of setting it much colder. Setting the temperature 1 degree warmer can save up to 2 percent on cooling costs.
     
  4. Change direction of ceiling fans.
    Make sure ceiling fans are rotating counter-clockwise to push the air down onto you. During the winter, you should change the rotation to clockwise.
     
  5. Close the curtains.
    Keep window blinds and curtains — especially on the south and west sides of the house — closed during the day to prevent direct sunlight from unnecessarily heating up your home.
     
  6. Shade the air conditioning unit.
    Direct sunlight on a window unit or the outdoor unit of a central air conditioning system adds to the workload of the equipment. Lend it a hand by keeping it shaded.
     
  7. Shade your house.
    A shade tree on the south and/or west side of your home can also reduce summer cooling costs by as much as 50 percent.
     
  8. Schedule a tune-up.
    We recommend an annual tune-up to ensure your air conditioner is working safely and efficiently. A technician will clean and inspect the components to make sure there are no damages or safety hazards. If not properly cleaned every year, your system could be losing up to 40 percent efficiency. You could actually save the cost of maintenance — or more — in energy savings!