With the Air Conditioners around Rochester finally starting to get turned on, one of the biggest gripes people have is the increase in energy bills. It's inevitable that your bill will go up somewhat, but when it increases astronomically, there are usually things that can be done to limit this rise. Keeping your home cool is essential in the summer, but not having to pay an arm and a leg to make it happen is even better.
So what are a few things you can do to help keep your cooling costs down once the heat rises this summer?
Use Ceiling Fans
- This is a simple one, but making sure you are using ceiling fans keeps the air in your home circulating, and doesn't let that stale heat sit around your home. Make sure your fans are turning counter-clockwise, blowing the air down on you. During the winter you want the opposite to keep the warm air down.
Close Your Windows During the Day and Open Them at Night
- This is best for times in the spring when the daytime is considerably hot, and the nighttime is much cooler. Also, make sure you open more than one window. If you have only one window open, the air won't have a place to flow to. If you open 2, there is a path for the air to circulate throughout your room, or your entire home. This is great for the nighttime when the air is cooler. Then when you wake up, close your windows to keep the hot air from seeping in. During the hottest days of summer when it's warmer all night, this may not be an option, but until that time comes this can be a great move to reduce energy costs.
Have Your System Inspected and Serviced
- Sometimes the reason your bills are so high is that the system is simply old and running inefficiently. Just like a car, you wouldn't expect it to run at 100% without having the oil changed for years, would you? The same goes for your AC system. Having a professional come out and service your equipment will not only make sure it lasts longer, but it also cools better, and uses the minimal amount of energy possible. Letting your system go years without a service will likely lead to increased energy bills, more repairs being needed, and a shortened lifespan.
Close the Blinds During the Day
- It's always nice to have the sun shining in your home on a bright and beautiful day. The only problem with that is the significant increase in temperature in your home. If you keep the sun out of your house, it will keep it cooler, leading to less AC needed to keep your home comfy.
Have an Energy Audit
- Having a professional conduct an energy audit is a comprehensive way to evaluate how well your home uses energy. This will allow you to see where there are leaks in the walls, blockage in your vents, or other factors that go into unnecessary energy usage. You will have a full assessment of your energy usage, and an expert will be able to make recommendations on how to decrease your energy use while keeping your home comfortable.
Supplement Your System
- Sometimes there are spots in your home that are tough to keep comfortable. Most frequently bedrooms, basements, and additions can be hotter than the rest of the home. This could be due to poor ventilation, an older system, or many other reasons. To compensate, people will turn up their AC and try to reach these spots in the home. This generally leads to higher energy bills and doesn't always fix the problem. Sometimes the purchase of a supplemental system can keep these problem areas cool while reducing energy use. A great solution for this would be a Mitsubishi Ductless Unit, or a space cooler. Window units can do the trick for the cooling aspect, but often cost a decent amount on
Cook Outside More
- If you are a fan of grilling, this is great for you. When you cook in the kitchen, sometimes there's a solid ventilation system to remove the hot air that is produced, but often the hot air sits in your home, combating the air conditioner. if you cook outside a little more during the summer, it will allow you to keep your home cooler, while still having a home cooked meal!
If All Else Fails...
Replace Your System
- If your bills are just too high and these tricks don't help out, it may finally just be time to replace your system. Sometimes a system that is 12+ years old has simply run the course and needs to be replaced. Newer, more energy efficient systems will be able to keep your home comfortable, while also using minimal energy. This may not be the easiest way to reduce energy use, but it can certainly be considered the best long-term solution in some cases.
If you have any questions about your energy use, or simply keeping your home cool in the summer, we would love to help you out. Give us a call at (585) 641-3080!