5 Tips to Reduce A/C Energy Costs

You may be thankful for your air conditioning when the temperatures skyrocket during the summer, but you may also be less than thrilled when your electricity bill comes. Keeping your home climate-controlled can account for at least half of your energy bill, costing a small fortune each month. As the days get hotter, your energy bill can get out of control. Here are 5 tips to help minimize your energy costs while still enjoying the benefits of A/C.

  1. Close your shades during the day. Use your window treatments to reduce sunshine and heat in your home by closing drapes or blinds in the morning.
  2. Use a programmable thermostat. If you have a programmable thermostat, use it. If you don’t have one, this is a good investment. Program your A/C for higher temps when you are away from home or during the night when you are sleeping.
  3. Invest in outdoor shade. Shading your home can have a big impact on your inside temps. Planting trees to shade from the afternoon sun can help reduce cooling costs. Outdoor awnings that shade windows and your A/C unit are also good investments.
  4. Schedule regular maintenance. Keeping your A/C unit in top condition can help reduce energy costs while preventing breakdowns. Schedule regular service at least twice a year.
  5. Use fans. Even with A/C, fans can offer a cooling effect as they circulate the air and the movement cools your skin. You can set the A/C temp higher while still enjoying a cooler home.

If you have an older A/C unit, this can also contribute to higher energy costs. You may want to consider investing in a newer, more energy efficient unit that could pay for itself with lower electricity costs.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
Alpharetta, GA
(770) 475-9555

Uneven Cooling Solutions

Many homes with central air conditioning systems have problems with some rooms not being cooled as much as other rooms.  This is especially true for two story homes or additions.  Some homeowners use window air conditioning units to provide extra cooling in warmer rooms.  A window air conditioner has the advantage of low initial cost and easy installation, but they are noisy and take up space in the window.

A quieter, less obtrusive, and more efficient alternative is to install a ductless mini-split system.  The initial cost of a mini-split system is higher and they must be installed by a professional HVAC contractor, but they are much more efficient than a window air conditioner.  In addition, since the outdoor condenser/compressor unit is mounted away from the window, the noise level is much lower and they are not as obtrusive.  Also, most mini-split systems are heat pumps so they can be used for heating as well as cooling.

A mini-split system works much like a central air conditioner.  It has an outside condenser/compressor unit which is connected to the indoor evaporator cooling coils by refrigerant lines.  In a standard central air conditioning system, the cooling coils are located inside a duct system.  A fan cools the air by blowing it across the coils and through a system of ductwork that distributes the cool air around the home.

In a mini-split system, the cooling coils are located in a small enclosure inside the room and fan blows air across the coils and directly into the room to be cooled.  Some mini-split systems use a single outdoor unit to indoor wall units in several rooms.

If your home has uneven cooling issues, talk to your HVAC contractor to see if a mini-split system would be a good solution for you.

Save Money By Replacing Your Old HVAC System

This is an excellent opportunity to replace your old heating and air conditioning system.  If your heating and air conditioning system is getting old, don’t wait until a breakdown to replace it.  Breakdowns usually happen when you need heating or cooling the most:  in hot summer weather or cold winter weather.

Winter and summer are also the times when your HVAC contractor is the busiest and you may end up waiting hours or days for a technician to arrive.  In the spring and fall your HVAC contractor is not quite as busy and you can schedule your HVAC replacement when it is convenient for you, not when your furnace or air conditioning system decides to call it quits.

You can also save money by replacing you heating and cooling system.  If your furnace is more than 15 years old, you can save about 15% on energy usage by installing a new Energy Star qualified furnace.  You can save even more on a new Energy Star air conditioner or heat pump.  Replacing a heat pump or air conditioner that is more than 10 years old can save up to 20% on cooling energy.

By shopping now when demand is low and before your system quits, you can look for a great deal on the HVAC system that has the features you want and have it installed at your convenience.  For maximum energy savings, have your HVAC contractor inspect and seal your duct system when they are installing your system and you will be ready to enjoy years of money saving heating and cooling.