Whether you’re trying to be more “green” or simply save yourself some money, lowering your power bill is an excellent idea. If you’ve been turning off lights and running a few loads of wash, but still haven’t seen a drop in your costs, you probably want to look at your AC! Even small problems with your air conditioner can cause your electric bill to get higher. Here’s what to look for and how to save more money every month.
Check Your Filter
Most air conditioner manufacturers recommend that you change the filter anywhere from twice a year to every few months. However, if you have a lot of children or pets, or if you live in a dusty area, you may need to change it more often.
A clogged filter prevents proper airflow, which makes your air conditioner work harder. As a rule of thumb, the harder it works, the higher your bills! Make things easier and cheaper by changing your filter regularly.
Set Your Thermostat Higher
We all love a cold blast of air when it’s blazing hot outside, but if you’re trying to cool your home, take it easy. The more that your AC tries to counteract warm temperatures, the harder it works. (And remember, that means higher bills!)
A single degree can have exponential effects on your energy usage. If it’s 30 degrees outside and you’ve set your thermostat to 20, your AC is spending a lot of power to adjust the temperature. By raising your thermostat just one degree to 21 degrees, you can save up to 10% on your bill! You probably won’t even notice the difference.
Don’t Run the AC While You’re Out or Asleep
If no one is at home, you can afford to set your thermostat a bit higher. Remember, every degree can save you money! You don’t need to turn off the system entirely: raising your thermostat a few degrees is sufficient to keep the AC from kicking on while you’re not at home. Once you’re back, simply set the thermostat to your desired temperature. Modern thermostats are programmable so you can automatically turn up the AC while you’re at work.
And at night, you can take advantage of naturally cooler temperatures. There’s no need to run the AC to sleep comfortably. If you need a breeze, invest in a fan or open a couple of windows to allow a cross current. This simple trick can save you money every single night!
Add Shade to Your Home
As the sun pours in, your home naturally gets warmer. Your AC will automatically kick on as the temperature rises. By maintaining the interior temperature, you can spare your air conditioner the trouble — and help your power bill! The easiest way to do this is to add shade.
Invest in sun-blocking curtains, hedges, shutters, or other methods to keep out the heat. Pay special attention to the windows that face the rising sun: those will heat up your home quickly if you’re not careful! Remember, every moment that the AC is running, it’s costing more energy. By keeping the temperature as stable as possible, you can save both energy and money.
Check Your System for Dirt and Leaks
Leaky ductwork and filthy coils both spell higher AC bills. Your system works by transferring heat to the evaporator coils, then passing the resulting cool air throughout your home’s ducts. If either of these components are dirty or leaking, your system will have to work much harder to keep your home cool.
Dirty coils don’t work as efficiently, which means the system stays on longer as it attempts to pump refrigerant to cool the air. And if your ducts are leaking cool air into your attic, the system just keeps chugging along until the air reaches your desired temperature. If you hear your system running all the time or your home never seems to get cool, dirty coils and/or leaky ducts are the likely culprits.
Reducing your AC bill starts with some simple modifications to your home and lifestyle. However, if your bills are still higher or if you suspect your system is dirty or leaking, it’s time to call in the experts. Proper air conditioner cleaning and maintenance will also help reduce your bills — plus prolong the life of your AC, which saves you money in the long run.
For professional air conditioning in the Cairns area, reach out to Siv Air. We inspect and clean all parts of your air conditioner to ensure optimal performance and help you save money on your power bill. Contact us today to get started.