As utility costs continue to increase such as electricty, many homeowners are seeking to find new ways to reduce the energy use of their homes. If you live in a an area that has high temperatures during the summer, or even perhaps all year round, you’ll probably find yourself running the Air Conditioner a lot during the summer. This is inevitably going to increase your power bill. You may find yourself working from home which mean you may find yourself with the Air Con on all day long. Or maybe you have pets left inside your apartment while you go to work for the day. Don’t get us started on those hot balmy nights (especially if you live in tropical areas) and need the AC on so you can get some sleep without waking sticky and sweaty. We’ve put together some tips on how to keep your energy costs down so you can summer in comfort and without too much worry about that incoming power bill.
When it comes to keeping calm and saving money, there are plenty of ways you can get creative. But sometimes your best bet is cranking up the AC when the heat of summer really hits. While air conditioning may be your first thought for cooling, there are several alternatives that have less energy consumption for cooling. A combination of adequate insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, daylighting, shading, and ventilation can typically keep homes in all but the hottest climates cool with a minimum of energy usage. While ventilation can be avoided in hot , humid climates, the need to use air conditioning can be greatly reduced by other approaches. You may want to familiarise yourself with the concepts of heating and cooling before choosing a cooling system.
Keep clear of the area around your air conditioner clean and tidy
It is also a relatively simple but very significant component of maintaining your air conditioner to keep the air conditioning unit and surrounding area clean and safe. A build-up of dirt or debris on your unit can make it necessary to work harder, reduce efficiency and have a negative impact on your energy costs.
Keep the area around your outdoor unit clean of dirt and leaves, keep any plants or trees in the area trimmed back, and keep the room free from obstructions in general.
Set your programmable thermostat as high in the summer as it is convenient, and while you are sleeping or away from home, increase the set point.
Switch off those culprits that emit heat while they are not in use. This could be the TV, the monitor, the printer, the corner lamp, or the kitchen oven. All these household essentials produce heat buckets and push the air conditioner to work harder to keep the temperature under control. Switch them off and you’ll automatically save money on the energy consumption of your air conditioning! This includes lights too. And think about cooking your dinner out on the BBQ.
Once a month or as recommended, clean or install new filters on air conditioners.
Get yourself a cover (like the way you do with a BBQ) for the outside part of your Unit.
If your AC is roasting in the sun outside, it won’t run almost as well as if it were in a shaded area.
Switch off the kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after cooking or bathing is done; consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models when replacing exhaust fans.
Place outdoor window coverings or shades over on the outside of the house to help keep sunlight directly off the windows OR Keep the window curtains closed during the day during summer to block the rays of the sun. That will help keep your home cooler. Therefore, the air conditioning unit will not have to work too hard, and it will reduce your energy bill.
When you purchase new cooling equipment, pick energy-efficient items. To help you compare energy use, your contractor should be able to send you energy fact sheets for various forms, models, and designs.
Using zoned cooling or switching between different units only cools the areas in which individuals are in. Keeping doors closed to rooms you are not using while the unit is running will mean less area to cool.
When you’re not home, turning off the air conditioner saves electricity. This is because it operates most effectively at full speed and takes more energy overall to run it all day, even in a less effective environment.
Use fans to cool down when it is not too hot. If your AC isn’t running, you are saving money.
If you are using an air conditioner, draught-proof your house. This will also guarantee that refrigerated air remains inside to effectively cool your house. Look for loose seals around window frames and spaces under or around doors.
Ensure the air conditioners are in good shape by periodically cleaning or repairing the filter, keeping the system’s outdoor equipment clear of dirt, leaves and other debris, and covering the outside of the system while not in use during the cooler months. Regular maintenance will keep your unit running effectively and efficiently, therefor reducing energy costs.
Consider the size of the space when purchasing a new air conditioner. A machine too small for the room would have to run continuously, while one too large would run in short bursts, causing more wear and tear.
Get in early on a hot day and close curtains, lower blinds and close unused rooms to minimise indoor heating.
The most energy-efficient alternative is maintaining your fan on AUTO. The fan just runs on and not constantly while the machine is on. During the summer months, there is better dehumidification in your house. Moisture from cold cooling coils can drip and be drained outside when your fan is set to AUTO.
In general, it is easier to leave the AC in very hot temperatures for the entire day. Nevertheless, holding it on full blast all the time is not successful. Depending on your AC device, your exact results can differ.
The nighttime temperature outside. If the night air coming into your home cools the indoor temperature to lower than you normally set the air conditioner thermostat, you can save some money by turning off the AC and using a fan such as a pedestal fan or a ceiling fan.
For cooling and heating efficiency, these labels have a star rating of 1-6 stars. The more stars an air conditioner has, the more energy-efficient it is, and the less costly it will also be to operate. Air conditioners that are more energy efficient should have a 7-10 star rating. If you AC unit is very old, it will most definitely NOT be energy efficient and you may want to look at replacing the old unit.
Get yourself a digital barometer to compare the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Do not cool down the room temperature to less than 8 ° C below it, regardless of the temperature outside. Often, the lower the difference between the temperatures inside and outside, the lower your cooling costs would be. Do this by setting your thermostat in summer at a high, comfortable temperature and ensuring, if appropriate, humidity control.