It feels like you always have to choose: cool comfortable air, or money in your pocket?
But what if you could have both?
It’s possible to have your cake and eat it too when you follow these tips.
1. Use Your Programmable Thermostat Strategically
While exact numbers depend on variety of factors, on average an adjustment of 1 degree for 8 or more hours a day can save you approximately 2% on your cooling bill.
If you adjusted your thermostat to be 5 degrees higher in the summer, you’d save 10% on your electricity bill. Let’s say you spend $200/month on electricity. Now your bill is down to $180.
Over the summer months, this one change could save you $80-$100.
While 5 degrees may sound like it’s a lot hotter than what you’re used to, there are some easy ways to sneak in those savings.
To get started, first you should set your thermostat as high as you can. Your home doesn’t need to be the Arctic tundra: it just needs to be comfortable. Plus, you’ll be amazed by how much cooler you’ll feel with the dehumidifying effect of your air conditioner.
Secondly, program your thermostat to fluctuate during the day. For example, set a higher temperature for when you’re away at work, and a lower temperature for 30 minutes before you come home.
Lastly, set your thermostat higher when you sleep. Our bodies aren’t in motion, so you won’t warm up as quickly. And if you opt for no sheets and breathable pajamas, you’ll be able to use your air conditioner less.
We also recommend keeping your windows shut at night – otherwise you’ll have to pay to cool your air back down as the morning sun warms up.
2. Make Sure Nothing Interrupts Airflow from Your Vents
Saving money on air conditioning is sometimes as simple as moving a piece of furniture.
Your vents are what give you that sweet cool air. But even a high table over a vent can impede airflow, making your air conditioner less efficient.
Do a quick vent check. Are any of them blocked by furniture, long curtains, or other objects?
If so, adjust accordingly, and let that air flow!
3. Use Blinds and Curtains to Keep the Sun Out
Blinds and curtains aren’t just for movie nights or privacy from your neighbours. They work hard to keep the sun from adding more unnecessary heat to your home – but only if you use them.
In the morning, close all the windows and draw all the shades you have. As dark as this may make your home feel, the less sun there is, the less your home will heat up. It’s the same as a hot car left in direct sunlight.
You can open them again when you get home from work. Your air conditioner will be grateful because it won’t have to work as hard to cool down the air – and your wallet will thank you.
4. Change Your Filters Regularly
A clean filter makes a happy, efficient air conditioner.
Most homeowners don’t think twice about the air filters. But when it becomes clogged with all the dust and dirt we generate on a day to day basis, your air conditioner has to work harder to push cool air up to you.
You should check your air filters every 30 days. If there’s dust and debris restricting airflow, it’s time for a new one.
5. Don’t Use Anything That Emits Heat
Have you heard that saying ‘adding fuel to the fire?’
That’s not something you want to do when it’s boiling hot out, like it was Canada Day weekend 2018.
Your stove, your lights, and your electronics all emit heat when in use, affecting the air in your home.
If you have to use something that emits heat, keep it short and sweet. Stick with cold meals like sandwiches or salads – or fire up the BBQ and cook outdoors.
6. Make Sure Your Home Has Some Shade
We always feel cooler in the shade.
That’s why many people believe that shading your air conditioner’s condenser unit alone should make difference in your bills.
But shading your air conditioner alone is not enough – in fact, if you have trees or bushes too close to your air conditioner, you could actually cause heat to be forced back into it.
The way to actually make an impact is to shade your entire home with trees. This creates a cooler microclimate, which is what will spur on savings.
7. Don’t Forget to Use Fans
Fans cool people, not rooms – it’s why you can’t use a fan alone in the summer.
But when paired with an air conditioner, they can help circulate the cool air and make you more comfortable.
This allows you to adjust your air conditioner usage and how much you spend. It’s quite the cost-effective partnership.
8. Make Sure Your Insulation is Up to Snuff
Your money could be squeezing through windows, around doors, and through walls as we speak.
Homes – particularly older ones – that lack proper insulation or seals result in a lot of air being lost.
If you suspect that a lot of your air conditioning isn’t actually reaching you, it’s a good idea to have your insulation inspected. Finding and fixing insulation problems now will save you money on both your cooling and heating bills.
9. Check Your Ductwork
Many homes don’t actually have the right ductwork layout or size.
Ductwork that is poorly sized can cause uneven distribution. For example, your bedroom on the second floor might be unbearably warm, but your living room is pleasantly cool – all because there’s not enough air flow.
Sometimes ductwork can leak, which means you don’t get nearly as much cool air as your air conditioner is supplying.
We can offer expert advice on your ductwork, and solutions that will make your home as comfortable and efficient as possible.
10. Close Off Rooms You Aren’t Using
It’s a lot easier for an air conditioner to cool 3 rooms than 5.
Instead of spending money cooling the guest room, close the doors and dampers. This will force all the air to the rooms you use. It’s a much more cost-effective way to keep cool.
11. Have Annual AC Maintenance
The more efficient your air conditioner operates, the more money you save. And while all the little things add up, an annual tune up alone can decrease your bill by as much as 15%.
Not only does AC maintenance save you energy costs, but it also saves you additional repair and replacement costs. Tunes up cost much less than surprise repairs or buying a new air conditioner all together – and that’s what can happen if your air conditioner is neglected.
12. When You Upgrade, Opt for a Properly-Sized, Highly-Efficient AC
When it is time to upgrade, a high-efficiency air conditioner is the way to go.
These things get better and better each time companies like Trane release a new model. Just make sure it’s properly sized for your home.
ATEL Air = The Right Air
Interested in saving even more? ATEL Air’s VIP program delivers more discounts and more benefits for you to enjoy.
Whether you want to get more savings out of your current air conditioner or need an upgrade, ATEL Air has got you covered. We carry top-of -the-line models, and have top-of-the-line technicians to deliver quality customer care.