For many of us in Montgomery, Alabama, energy bills skyrocket when you turn on the air conditioner but there are plenty of tips to save money on air conditioning. Many tips are dictated by your lifestyle, however, combining as many as possible only adds to the savings.
Use Ceiling Fans
It’s easy to overlook ceiling fans when you plan your home’s heating and cooling temperature schedule. They are important participants, however, in your home’s comfort. If you have ceiling fans in your home already, ensure they rotate the correct direction for the season.
Which Direction Should My Ceiling Fan Go?
During summer weather, the ceiling fan should spin counterclockwise. You should feel a cool breeze when standing underneath it. This airflow creates a wind-chill effect. This “wind” helps perspiration evaporate faster, which helps you feel cooler. Therefore, only run the fan when you’re in the room.
Ceiling fans don’t cool the air – they help people feel cooler. Most ceiling fans have a switch to reverse the direction of the motor. In the winter flip this switch so the fan spins clockwise at a low speed. This creates an updraft, pushing the warm air near the ceiling down the walls to the occupants.
When your home seems too warm, first turn on the ceiling fan to see if air movement is all you need. Using your fan to make you feel cooler allows you to leave your thermostat a few degrees warmer and saves energy and money.
Consider Your Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are very popular. They allow you to set temperature schedules to provide the most cooling while you’re home, and dial it back while you’re gone. If you work during the day, set your home to stay warmer, maybe around 78-80 degrees. Then, cool your home to a comfortable 74 degrees before you arrive home.
Your air conditioner does not have to work as hard during those hours you are gone each day. This saves you money and prolongs the life of your air conditioner. This is better too than turning the AC off altogether.
It takes a while for an air conditioner to move the thermostat, so set reasonable expectations. It simply cannot take your house from 80 to 72 degrees in 30 minutes.
There are many different types of programmable thermostats on the market. An experienced HVAC professional helps you decide the type that is right for your home and provides you even more tips to save money on air conditioning.
We strongly encourage you to consult with us if you’re considering a programmable thermostat, a Wi-Fi thermostat or a modern smart thermostat. Don’t be swayed by a slick presentation at a big box store. Many homeowners find these smart thermostats are not as compatible with their current HVAC systems as they hoped.
For example, do you have a variable-speed system or a single-speed system? This makes a difference. Talk to us about your energy goals. We’ll take into account your home’s occupancy, your typical household routine, your HVAC system and recommend options best for you.
Maintain Your HVAC
More tips to save money on air conditioning involve maintenance for your current HVAC system. Regular maintenance is important because it ensures your system operates at peak performance. A trained technician maintains your system twice per year to ensure maximum efficiency and prevent downtime.
Change your filter regularly – this is the single most important task you need do to maintain your system. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations, but some filters require a change monthly and some quarterly or even longer.
Some filters are disposable while some simply need to be washed. Operate your HVAC system with a clean filter to allow proper airflow and reduce allergens and pollutants in your air.
Block the Sun
Possibly the lowest cost of the tips to save money on air conditioning involve your blinds and shades. When the summer sun is at its hottest, close the blinds in your home to keep out some of the heat. This is especially helpful for south and east-facing windows in the morning and west-facing windows in the evening.
Simply leave all blinds closed if you are not home during the day. Prevent this thermal energy from entering your home so your air conditioner does not struggle to cool that heated air.
Landscape with Purpose
Two big tips to save money on air conditioning. One, keep plants, shrubbery and yard debris away from your AC compressor. Your air conditioner depends on good airflow to work efficiently. Invasive plants, shrubs to camouflage the AC unit and grass clipping can smother your AC compressor. Keep a two to three feet buffer around it to allow for strong airflow.
Second, plant leafy trees strategically. Shade the AC compressor or block direct sun to east and south-facing windows. When the trees lose leaves in the winter, the sun’s warmth will peek through and bring some solar heat to your home. This tactic is known as “passive solar.”
For More Tips to Save Money on Air Conditioning, Contact the Pros at Hans!
As the temperatures this summer rises, follow these tips to save money on air conditioning – keep your home cool and your wallet happy. Be sure you have scheduled your summer air conditioner maintenance check and replaced your filter!
If you ever find yourself with an outage, call Hans Heating and Air right away. Hans serves the Montgomery, Alabama area, including Wetumpka, Prattville, Pike Road, Millbrook and Hope Hull. We guarantee same day service with no overtime charges!