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Ace Hardware Home Services Blog

How to Lower Your Cooling Bills

checklist-with-red-markerIf there is anything that Hickory area homeowners all have in common, it’s understanding the value of fully effective and efficient air conditioning–especially efficient. Nobody wants to pay an arm and a leg to cool their home, nor do they want to sacrifice comfort in order to save money.

But you don’t ever have to sacrifice comfort to save money!

In fact, there are a lot of things you can do in your home to reduce your energy use and therefore reduce your utility bills. Read on to learn what they are.

Schedule Maintenance!

First and foremost, we cannot overstate the importance of routine HVAC maintenance. Once a year (or twice a year if you have a heat pump system), you’ll want to have a trained and experienced professional do a maintenance tune-up on your air conditioner.

This allows us to inspect, clean, and adjust the components that need it, which helps it work as effectively and efficiently as possible, for as long as possible. In fact, it’s estimated that properly maintaining your air conditioner can help it retain up to 95% of its original efficiency rating (its SEER-Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).

On the contrary, every year you skip maintenance, your system can actually lose about 5% of its original SEER rating.

Reduce Direct Sunlight in the Home

Do you have south-facing windows in your home? These are the windows that are going to receive the most direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day. If you leave the blinds and curtains open on these windows, that means your home is going to heat up a lot faster and earlier in the day than it would otherwise.

Reducing direct sunlight allows your home to stay cooler longer, and your thermostat won’t signal your air conditioner to turn on as early, therefore saving energy by default, as it won’t be using any energy.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans alone cannot lower the temperature of the rooms they’re in, but they can certainly help better distribute the air in your home so that you feel cooler, and don’t have to turn your thermostat down so low.

Most people are comfortable at 78°F inside their homes, and this is the recommended thermostat setting from the Department of Energy, but it’s more reasonable when you pair your air conditioner with the use of fans, which don’t use much electricity at all.

Avoid Blocking Off Vents

You might think that closing off or blocking vents in your home helps you save energy since you’re not cooling all the rooms in your home, but this isn’t accurate. Your air conditioner is still producing just as much air. All that blocking off the vents does is create a pressure imbalance in the system, which can actually exacerbate wear and tear on the system.

So not only could you be using your air conditioner inefficiently, it might not even last as long as you hoped.

Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean

The outdoor unit of your air conditioner can be victim to tree branches, leaves, lawn mulch, etc. Be sure to clear this off and away from the outdoor unit–check at least once a month during periods of air conditioner use–to make sure airflow isn’t restricted.

For professional AC service and more, look no further than Ace Hardware Home Services Contact us today!

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