We all see a spike in our energy bills over the summer when it’s hot and we run the air conditioner to cool our homes, but many of us probably don’t realize home much of our energy usage goes toward keeping us comfortable and how much of those costs are merely from our daily living. Here is a quick rundown of the percentage of energy usage in a typical Dallas, Texas home during the summer:
- TV and Media Equipment: 3 percent
- Lighting: 12 percent
- Appliances: 20 percent
- Water heating: 14 percent
- Air conditioning and heating: 47 percent
Since a typical AC system consumes such a large amount of energy cooling your home, it makes sense to limit the amount of power used and maximize your HVAC systems energy efficiency.
Here are some simple rules to save money on your summer air conditioning:
Replace Your Air Filters
Dirty air filters restrict air flow causing the blower motor in your air conditioning system work harder to move air and cool your home. Replace your air filters regularly based on the size and type of filter your system requires.
Increase Circulation With Ceiling Fans
Here is a little science, although fans don’t actually cool the air in a room, air from a moving fan will make the people in that room feel cooler due to convection and evaporation. Set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise in the summer to push the air down onto your family helping them feel cooler. Then, during the winter reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to spin clockwise, which will help the warm air trapped on your ceiling circulate down without that direct breeze making you feel cold.
Turn Your Thermostat Up To 78°F In Summer And Down To 65°F In Winter
Every extra degree warmer in the summer or cooler in the winter will save you money. To stay comfortable, remove layers of clothing in the summer and use blankets or add extra layers of clothing during the winter to keep you feeling comfortable all year long while saving you money on energy costs along the way.
Get Your Air Conditioner And Furnace Serviced Annually
A well maintained HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system will run more efficiently than a unit that has systems that are failing even though they appear to be working. Since AC systems usually fail during the heat of the summer or cold of the winter, annual maintenance checks help diagnose small issues before they become costly repairs at the most inconvenient times.
Close Your Window Blinds
The least insulated area of your home is your windows and even the most energy efficient windows are merely made of glass and don’t compare in insulating value (R-Value) to an insulated wall or ceiling. Therefore, closing your blinds will help keep your home cooler in the summer by restricting direct sunlight from heating you home and by providing another small layer of insulating protection from the outside heat.
Don’t Block Inside Vents Or Outside Units
Air flow is critical to the efficiency of an air conditioning system and sometimes blocked vents are the cause for hot and cold spots in your home, so making sure both the supply vents and return vents inside your home are free from blockage will help your AC system keep your home cool. In addition, keeping you outside condenser unit clear of debris and shrub growth will also help your system run to peak efficiency.
Dust And Vacuum To Prevent Clogged Filters
A clean home is a healthy home for both your personal health and the health of your air conditioning and heating system. Pet hair, dander, dust, micro-plastics and volatile organic components (VOC’s) if not kept under control will be stirred up into the air and ultimately sucked through your AC system and trapped in your filter. Yes…that is the purpose of an air filter, however, as we noted above, a clogged filter will cause your AC system to run harder and less efficiently.
Close Off Rooms Of Your Home That Are Not Used
There is no sense in cooling a room that no one ever uses so by closing the air vents in those rooms and the doors that lead to those rooms, you won’t be wasting money conditioning air that no one breathes.
Although it is difficult to save money on household air conditioning consumption, we hope that you are able to use all of these air conditioning money saving tips in your Dallas, Texas home this summer and reduce your overall energy costs.