We all like to be comfortable in sweltering hot temperatures. Fortunately, we can count on our air conditioner to keep us nice and cool. Of course, things can become a lot less comfortable when our utility bills arrive. If this is the case for you, keep yourself cool and without worry with these top money-saving tips on how to save money while running an air conditioner.
Most homeowners believe that they have selected the right air conditioning unit for their home, but this is not always the case.
In fact, many homeowners have an air conditioner with too small or too big capacity, both leading to higher utility bills.
There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes down to choosing an air conditioner; this is why it is important to speak to a technician about your air conditioning choice. Not only the size of your home is important, the number of windows and where they are installed can also have an impact on your air conditioner's effectiveness.
Another thing to take into consideration while you shop for air conditioners is the SEER number; this refers to the seasonal energy efficiency ratio. Evidently, the higher the number, the more efficient your air conditioner will be. If you think your air conditioner needs an upgrade, check its SEER rating and compare it to some of the more recent models. If there is a huge difference, then you can save money by upgrading your unit.
Getting regular maintenance for your air conditioner is key to preventing big repair costs. However, good maintenance also guarantees the effectiveness of your unit. When dirt and grime are allowed to pile up in your unit, the air conditioner will become less effective at doing its job. Subsequently, it will have to work harder to achieve the same result, which in turn increases your utility bill dramatically.
Even though you may not think about the location of your air conditioner, it is actually really important to keep the running cost of your unit down. If you place the air conditioner in a sunny and warm spot, then it will work a lot more than it needs to. Therefore, choosing a spot in the shade is always a good idea.
The location of your outdoor unit is subject to other factors too. Your outside environment is very prone to dirt and debris, but also to all types of foliage that can block the outdoor air conditioner. If foliage, dirt or debris end up around or inside the unit, it can cause your unit to be less effective. In worse cases, it could even cause damage to the internal parts of your unit and bring you a hefty repair bill in return.
While you should keep dirt, debris, and smaller foliage away from your air conditioning unit, there is a benefit to be had by planting some all-season shrubbery near your air conditioning unit. If your outdoor unit is catching a lot of sunlight, then some solid shrubbery can block out the sun. Please note, this method is especially recommended for outdoor units that have been installed in locations susceptible to sunlight; this includes the south and the west.
If your air conditioning is as effective as it can be, but you are still not happy with its monthly running cost, it is a good idea to implement some measures inside the home. These measures are usually quite cost-effective and require minimal skill to execute.
Trying to keep the heat outside of your home as much as possible can certainly save big on air conditioner bills. Those who have windows facing west and south - the areas most prone to catch sunlight - should consider keeping their curtains closed during certain times of the day. By doing so, less sunlight enters your home and the indoor temperature will stay cooler overall. It is also a good idea to invest in sun-blocking or sun-reflecting curtains, as they are less prone to letting sunlight through.
If you do not like the idea of keeping your curtains closed all the time, you could consider a heat-reflective tinston your windows too. While this does change the appearance of your glass somewhat, it allows you to still let in some natural light without all the accompanying heat.
The various installations that require an outside connection inside your home can also reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner and your heating system; this because their outside connections may not be properly sealed. For example, if you have a water pipe running from the outside to the inside of your home, but the opening is not sealed properly, you will use a lot of cool air (or warm air in case of heating). Openings such as these also make you more susceptible to pest invasions. Therefore, sealing them up properly can provide you with a nice cost-cut too.
Some homes can be more prone to the absorption of heat too. While the location of the windows certainly contributes to that, the color of your home can be a contributor as well. For example, if the outside of your home is painted in a darker color, your home will attract more heat. So, repainting the home in a lighter and heat-reflecting color can keep the temperature down without your air conditioner having to work too hard.
Finally, always check your appliances if you have trouble keeping the temperature down. Some appliances - for example, vented tumble dryers - can create an incredible amount of heat. In some cases, people can warm up their home simply with their tumble dryer in the winter. It is recommended to place these appliances in a location where they cannot affect the efficiency of the air conditioning unit. If this is not possible, it might be time to invest in a condenser dryer instead. Evidently, the same applies to other appliances that may generate a lot of heat; this goes from your cooker to your computer.