Ways to Save on Cooling Costs this Summer
By Great Lakes Window
We wait patiently – or in some cases, not so patiently – for summer to finally arrive, only to immediately shut our windows and pump on the air conditioning as soon as it gets too warm outside. Suddenly, our cooling bills are going through the roof and we’re stuck with the choice of staying cool and handing over the cash, or dealing with the heat of turning off the AC. Here are a few ways that you can save on cooling costs without having to sacrifice your comfort.
There are a few simple and cost-free tactics that can help keep your home cool.
- Make sure ALL of your vents are open: This might sound obvious, but if you go through your home and check all of them, you might be surprised to find some behind furniture or in little-used rooms that are actually closed.
- Regularly replace air filters: Air filters keep allergens like dust and dirt from circulating through your home. To keep them operating efficiently, you’ll need to replace them once a month, especially when they are being used more, like in the height of summer and winter.
- Change the direction of your fans: Most ceiling fans actually have a switch that changes the direction the blades spin. When it’s hot, the blades should spin counter-clockwise to push the hot air up, since heat rises and you want to help it out. When it’s cold, the blades should spin clockwise to push the heat down and keep it inside.
- Block out the sun: Close the drapes when the sun is beating onto one side of your home to prevent it from heating up those rooms. You can even try insulated curtains or tinted window film that sticks onto your windows and can help reduce cooling costs.
Consider Making Moderate Changes
A few upgrades around your home might save you in the long run.
- Purchase a programmable thermostat: This option allows you to alter the temperature when you aren’t at home. So if you know you’ll be gone all day for work, you don’t need to have your air conditioning quite as cool as you prefer it to be when you’re at home. According to Good Housekeeping, using a programmable thermostat properly can save you $150 a year.
- Give your AC a tune and clean up every year: Keeping your AC unit maintained can save on energy and expand its lifespan. Have a professional tune, clean and check controls and refrigerant levels on your central AC system every two to three years. Home Depot claims that if your refrigerant needs recharging, correcting it could improve efficiency by 20%.
Invest in ENERGY STAR Products
If you’re really ready to make a big impact when it comes to your energy savings, it might require more of an investment upfront.
- Buy ENERGY STAR heating and cooling appliances: ENERGY STAR appliances can save energy around your home. These products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and include central air conditioning, ductless heating and cooling and room air conditioners.
- Upgrade your windows: ENERGY STAR doesn’t stop with appliances. ENERGY STAR certified energy efficient windows and doors can reduce household spend on energy. According to ENERGY STAR, replacing old home windows with an ENERGY STAR certified option lowered household energy bills by an average of 12% nationwide.
Windows from Great Lakes Window are ENERGY STAR certified and built to resist the heat and cold, offering four-season comfort. They meet or exceed the current standards for ENERGY STAR® Version 6.0 requirements in all 50 states and can exceed requirements for the Northern Zone, by up to 48% with select glass packages.