11 Tips to Reduce Your Home Cooling Costs This Summer
By Haller Enterprises
The average high temperature in June, July and August in Pennsylvania reaches the mid 80s and readings of 90 degrees or more are not uncommon. When you factor in the humidity, it can place a strain on your home’s air conditioning system. Unfortunately, relying on A/C to keep your home cool and comfortable during those sweltering summer days and nights can also put a strain on your household budget.
How Can You Lower Your Summer Energy Bills?
Heavy air conditioning use can cause a shock when you catch see your home cooling bill. When you consider that about half of the average household’s utility expenses are related to heating and cooling, it is imperative to find ways to keep these costs under control.Haller Enterprises, Inc. has assembled the following tips to help you manage your cooling costs while still maintaining a comfortable home all summer long:1. Install ceiling fans – Placing ceiling fans in heavily used rooms will circulate air and increase comfort. This can also allow you to set your thermostat at a higher temperature, which will reduce your dependency on air conditioning. Just remember to turn off the fan when no one is in the room. As an alternative, use freestanding oscillating floor fans to move air around the house.2. Open the windows at night – Another way to increase air circulation is opening your windows during the cooler summer nights. Opening at least two windows will create cross-ventilation and generate a cooling breeze throughout your home. Supplementing open windows with fans can enhance the effect and make your home more comfortable without having to rely on air conditioning.3. Block the sunlight – While streaming sunlight will brighten a home’s interior, it will also increase the inside temperature. Sunlight creates a greenhouse effect that makes a home feel warmer and causes the air conditioning system to work harder. The installation of solar blinds will deflect a substantial amount of the sun’s rays and keep your house cooler. Another option is to keep your curtains and shades closed during the day.4. Create natural shade – Strategically placed trees and shrubs will produce natural shade that will help your home stay cooler. The foliage can also enhance the appearance and resale value of your property.5. Raise your thermostat – Most folks prefer a setting of around 72º F in the summer. However, raising the temperature by a few degrees will result in a significant reduction in energy consumption and lower your cooling costs.6. Install a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat will regulate the function of your A/C system by automatically adjusting the temperature throughout the day based on your chosen settings. You don’t have to be at home to raise or lower the thermostat manually as the outside temperature changes. By allowing your air conditioning system to operate more efficiently, a programmable thermostat can lower your energy bills.7. Don’t use the stove or oven – Cooking meals on the stove or in the oven makes your home feel hotter and makes you want to crank up the air conditioning. Summer is the perfect time to use your outdoor grill to prepare your meals. A backyard barbecue is also a great way to relax and socialize with family or friends. If you prefer to cook indoors, choose meals you can prepare easily in a microwave.8. Keep cool in the basement – The subterranean level of your home stays several degrees cooler than the above-ground areas. Take advantage of the cooler basement temperature by bumping up the thermostat and heading downstairs. You don’t need a finished basement or “man cave” to enjoy life underground — a futon, a couple of comfortable chairs and a TV are all you need to create a cozy and relaxing environment.9. Seal your home – HVAC ducts can pull apart or sustain damage over time, resulting in gaps that minimize airflow efficiency. Gaps around doors and windows can also allow chilled air to escape from inside your home and let hot air in. A professional HVAC technician can inspect your ductwork and seal gaps or cracks. Placing weatherstripping at the bottom of exterior doors and caulking leaky windows will also help maintain a comfortable temperature.10. Maintain your air conditioning unit – A neglected air conditioning system will not operate efficiently, which can raise your energy costs and lead to early failure. Have your system inspected by a certified HVAC technician at least once a year. The inspection should include a complete tuneup and a replacement of any worn-out parts. An important DIY maintenance step is changing the unit’s filter at least once a month during the summer. A clean filter improves airflow and facilitates condensation drainage. This step alone can reduce your annual home energy costs.11. Replace an aging or underperforming A/C unit – Even the best air conditioning systems don’t last forever. You should replace your system after 10 to 15 years for maximum efficiency and energy savings. Today’s Energy Star-rated systems are highly efficient and can quickly offset your initial investment. Be sure to have your new unit professionally installed so it will deliver long-lasting performance.
Haller Enterprises Will Help Keep Your Home Cool During Summer
Haller Enterprises proudly offers premium air conditioning services to homeowners in Central PA and beyond. You can trust our more than 30 years of HVAC expertise to help you create a comfortable, energy-efficient home all summer long.Contact us to learn more about our cost-effective air conditioning preventative maintenance program today.