Allergies and AC filters

How To Save Money On Your Electric Bill While Running The Air Conditioner

When the summer heat comes, an air-conditioned home can offer cool relief to the hot outdoors. But with the rising temperatures, your electric bill will be on the rise as well. Americans spend $11 billion annually on air conditioning. Use these tips to keep your home cool and save money on your electric bill.

1. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Running the air conditioner when no one is in the home can cost you money. A programmable thermostat can help you regulate the temperature to best match your daily schedule. It can turn the air conditioner off or down for you when you leave for work and raise the temperature at night while everyone is sleeping. Having this done automatically for you can take the need to remember out of the equation and help you save money every day.

2. Tilt the Unit

When your air conditioner window unit is installed, do not level it. Instead, leave the back end about one inch lower than the front. This will allow the water that is produced on the inside to trickle out of the back of the unit and re-evaporate under the hot radiator. Tilting the unit slightly increases the effectiveness of the AC by helping the unit shed heat.

3. Use the Right Sized Unit

When you purchase an air conditioner unit for the window, it is important to make sure it is the right size for your home. If you put an air conditioner that is designed for a smaller space in a large room, it will not have enough power to sufficiently cool the room. Then, in efforts to reach a cooler temperature, you may be tempted to turn the setting down. This will only overwork the air conditioner and cost you more money on your electric bill. Buy a larger unit that is equipped to handle the area you want cooled. 

4. Don't Overwork the AC

If the air conditioner runs nonstop for days, the coils can ice up and decrease the airflow as well as the unit's effectiveness. Remove the front grill occasionally and check for ice formation. If build-up occurs, turn the unit off at night to give it time to melt and unclog. To avoid this problem, set the temperature at an achievable level for the size of air conditioner you have. Overworking the AC will only cost you more money on your electric bill.

5. Clean the Filter

Keeping your AC in good condition can increase its efficiency. The filter should be cleaned every few weeks in the summer. Run it under the shower or clean it thoroughly with a hose. Then let it dry before re-installing it.

6. Add Some Shading

If you can keep sunlight from entering your home, you will be able to keep your house naturally cooler and not rely as much on the air conditioner. Use energy efficient curtains that are insulated with foam to prevent heat from entering your home and keep them closed during the day. You can also plant trees or a climbing rose bush outside your home. The plants will provide a natural shade as they grow and cut out energy costs. Just make sure they do not block the air conditioner.

7. Keep the Windows Closed

It can be tempting to open windows at night to let cool air in. However, if you live in a humid environment, opening the windows will only let more humidity into the house. Your air conditioner will then have to work twice as hard the next day to remove all the moisture you have let in.

8. Open the Vents

Basements are a naturally cool area of the home. If you have one, open any vents that lead from the basement to the first floor. You can also leave the door to the basement open to let the cool air up.

Air conditioning can be one of your home's biggest energy consumers. However, if you provide natural shading and are careful not to overwork the air conditioner, you should be able to keep your electric bill at a reasonable cost and stay cool. Talk with an HVAC contractor like JV Systems Air Conditioning And Heating of Tampa Bay Inc for more information.