It’s heating up around here; air conditioners are turning on which means the utility bills are going up. Here are a couple of tips you might not have thought about that can help keep your AC bills from skyrocketing like the temperature.
Replace your incandescent light bulbs (or keep your lights off)
This seems like a funny one but changing out your incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient bulbs can help the overall indoor temperature in your house. It’s because incandescent bulbs are terribly inefficient – about 85% of the energy they consume is turned into heat. That heat raises the air temperature in your home which makes your air conditioner work harder.
You have great choices in LED or CFL bulbs but if you just don’t want to go that route, then you can always just keep your lighting very minimal. Efficient bulbs or lower lighting, you are helping lower your energy bill and giving your AC a break.
Get – and use! – a programmable thermostat
There is no reason to over-cool your home when no one is home. A programmable thermostat can help you save money by controlling the amount of work your air conditioner does when no one is there to appreciate it.
Get one for your AC unit and program it to bump up 5-7 degrees when everyone is out of the house during the day. The less difference there is between the inside and outside temperature, the less strain you are putting on your AC system. Program it to switch back to your comfortable indoor temp a little before you get home. Doing this can help you save hundreds of dollars a year.
Cover your windows
Unless you have energy-efficient windows, heat is getting in and staying in. You can replace those suckers if you have a few thousand dollars laying around, or you can make sure that your windows are covered during the day. Close your blinds and curtains to keep out the sun and heat. For windows that face the afternoon sun, consider applying a UV reflective film directly to the window. Keeping the heat out makes your AC unit much happier.
Keep up on the maintenance
One of the most important things you can do for your utility bills is making sure your air conditioner stays in tip-top shape. Besides saving money on a monthly basis, regular maintenance helps you avoid costly air conditioner repairs down the road.
This article was provided by American Air Conditioning & Heating. Since 1981, American Air has been providing professional air conditioning and heating service and repair. Check out their $99 tune-up special – good for your air conditioner or furnace!