Having an AC unit in your home is invaluable during the summer, but the electricity cost attached to it can pretty soon give you a nasty surprise. So what do you do? Sacrifice your comfort for savings’ sake or suck it up and pay astronomical electricity bills in order to keep cool. There may be some middle ground. Take a look at these tips to try to balance these two.
Start with Cleaning
Before you do anything else, you should consider that your AC unit might be dirty on the inside. If that’s the case, your AC has a reduced output. This, in turn, makes you increase the intensity, resulting in more electricity being spent to achieve the same effect. What you need to do is simply clean the unit and you’re on the right track to conserve energy and cash. You can clean the unit yourself, or have it professionally cleaned relatively cheaply. See companies such as http://www.hughesairco.com/hvac-maintenance/ for AC maintenance and cleaning.
Install a Smart Thermostat
The last thing you want after a long day of work is to return to a stuffy, hot home. But the alternative is to have the AC blasting all day while you’re not even at home. There’s a third alternative, one from the era of smart houses and modern technology.
You can have a thermostat which turns the AC on or off at predetermined intervals, so you can reduce it during the night, turn it off while you’re away and have it on full blast while you need it the most. However, if you forget to set it manually, you still have the option of managing everything via your smartphone. The new trend of Internet of Things enables various simple devices to be connected to the internet and controlled remotely.
Invest in Better Insulation
Your home loses heat during winter and cool during the summer. It’s just the natural law of thermodynamics and there’s not much you can do to stop it. You can, however, reduce its effects. You can insulate your home with modern materials which are better at preserving your ideal temperature.
Apart from house insulation, your doors and windows can be a big heat exchanger. Fitting UV films on all your windows helps reduce the heating effect of the Sun, as well as protecting you from the harmful UV rays. If you are ready for a bigger investment, you may want to change the material of your door and window frames. Newer materials such as PVC or metal are better than wood which is traditionally used.
If you have ever gone through a park on your walk through a city in the summer, you are familiar with the power of greenery. Plant some shrubs or trees on your property to protect you from the worst of the heat emanating from the asphalt. According to EPA, trees can reduce the temperature of an area as much as 45°F.
Any of these individual moves can help you use your AC unit less, reducing your electricity bill in the process without sacrificing our comfort. Oh, and your AC unit may last longer, too.