How to Lower AC Energy Costs in the Summer
Humid summers in Virginia can be unbearable and you are likely looking for any and every solution to keep you and your family cool while spending time indoors. If you aren’t currently able to replace your HVAC system with an all-new, energy-efficient model, try out these DIY-friendly tips to help keep your energy costs low while staying comfortable during the summer.
Don’t Turn Your AC On and Off
Many homeowners are under the impression that in order to get the most out of their air conditioner, they should turn it on long enough to cool things off then turn it off. In actuality, it’s not a good idea to use your system this way. Your AC needs about 5-7 minutes before it reaches its peak efficiency. Therefore, if you want to maximize your air conditioner, it’s a good idea to let it run as it was designed.
Keep Hot Air Out
Warm air can leak into your house through cracks and openings around doors and windows. Seal them up using caulk or weatherstripping.
Avoid Use of Heat-Producing Appliances on Hot Days
It would probably shock you how much heat your oven gives off and how much warm air your clothes dryer brings into your house in order to operate. On hot days or at the hottest points of the day, try to avoid using the oven; instead, cook on the top of the stove using the smallest possible burner, use a toaster oven, or grill outside. When using your washer, dryer, or dishwasher, only run full loads. Consider air-drying your dishes and clothing whenever possible. Minimizing your use of appliances that generate a lot of heat will help your HVAC system to operate at peak efficiency.
When you have a lot of products that are letting off heat, your thermostat will register that the home is hot and needs to be cooled down, forcing your AC to work double time, increasing your cooling bill.
Keep Doors and Vents Open
Most HVAC systems are set-up to circulate air throughout the entire home. The way the cool air is able to move around is through the ductwork and out through the vents. Sure, you might think that closing a vent will help to channel that cool air back into the ductwork and to other rooms but doing this will add barriers to the parts of your system where it’s trying to expel the air, which puts pressure on the system forces the AC to work harder to try and keep pumping air in.
Seek Professional Help
If you’ve found that your energy costs are ridiculously high summer after summer or you see a sudden, substantial spike, it’s probably time to call in some professional help. As your air conditioner ages and nears the end of its life, it begins to lose its energy efficiency. It may be worth it to update to a more energy-efficient system, rather than continuing to be hit with energy bills you are struggling to pay. Peninsula Heating & Air offers great financing options to make replacing your system affordable for any budget. It is better to invest in a new system than spend the same in high utility bills. Contact us today so we may find the best solution for you.