19 Ways to Reduce Your Air Conditioning Electricity Bill This Summer
Now that summer is coming around; we’re all eager to say goodbye to the colder winter months so we can start enjoying some of the beautiful sunshine. This means BBQs outside with our friends and families, trips to the beach and just generally relaxing outside under the bluest skies and gorgeous sun. Who’s getting excited just thinking about it?
However, as the days get hotter, so do the interiors of our homes and offices. This means it’s time to crank up the AC, so we can relax indoors comfortably and, for many us, lay in our beds comfortably and sleep without the need to toss and turn while sweating uncontrollably.
While ACs have changed the way we’ve been able to live our lives during the summer months, these devices can have a huge knock-on effect on our bank accounts, mainly in the form of our electricity bills.
Today, we’re going to explore 19 ways that we can reduce our electricity during the summer months, ensuring that we still stay cool and comfortable, but have more to spend on doing the things we love with the people we love. Let’s jump straight into it!
Table of Contents
- 1. Consider Your Property’s Condition
- 2. Use Smart Meters
- 3. Consider Thermostat Placement
- 4. Change Your Thermostat Settings
- 5. Close Your Blinds or Curtains
- 6. Install a Ceiling Fan
- 7. Use Portable Fans
- 8. Time for an Upgrade, Windows
- 9. Consider Replacing Your HVAC Filters
- 10. Have Lots of BBQs!
- 11. Think About Insulation
- 12. Move to Lower Ground
- 13. Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit
- 14. Invest in Solar Panels
- 15. Turn Off Other Electric Compliances
- 16. Go Outside!
- 17. Check Your Electric Companies Peak Times
- 18. Ask Your Company for a Discount
- 19. Change Your Electricity Provider
1. Consider Your Property’s Condition
Unless you’re living in a brand-spanking-new home, the chances are that all the cool air that you’re pumping around your house is seeping out through cracks and holes in your house. This could be through your doors, windows, poorly insulated areas and other cracks that have appeared over time.
For the most accurate results, you’ll want to invest in a home energy audit, which can easily be organized through a local contractor or your local utility provider. These audits will test areas of your home and check for potential leaks and is a sure-fire way to ensure that your home is insulted and operating to the optimal level of energy efficiency.
This way, with all the little holes sealed up, you’ll only have to use your AC when you actually need it, saving you a ton of money through every summer season to come! Want to save money from the audit? You can also do it yourself by running your hand around the windows and doors from the outside of your house. If you can feel a breeze from the outside, you’ve found yourself a leak!
2. Use Smart Meters
Smart thermostats are making their way into homes across the United States and if you haven’t made the upgrade yet, now is the time to do so. By installing smart thermostats, you can control your interior heating functions, so it’s working to the optimal efficiency level.
With most smart meters, you can even control them remotely from your smartphone. So, if you’re heading out for the day, turn off all the AC features, and turn them back as you’re on your drive home!
3. Consider Thermostat Placement
Whether you’re using a smart thermostat or a traditional one, it’s important that you consider where about you’re placing it in your home.
For example, if you’re placing it on a wall where there’s a water boiler behind it, the air conditioning is going to come on far more often than if you place it on a neutral wall. Here’s how to choose the perfect wall to position yours.
4. Change Your Thermostat Settings
Consider what setting you currently have your thermostat set for your AC unit to come on. If the figure is relatively low, you’re going to be using your AC far more often, probably more than you need to.
Instead, try raising your thermostat temperature, even if it’s by a couple of degrees and you’ll be able to save a huge amount of energy. In fact, setting your thermostat just 10 to 15 degrees higher for just eight hours a day can reduce your electricity bill by as much as 10%.
5. Close Your Blinds or Curtains
If your thermostat is positioned on a wall opposite a window and you have the hot sun beating down on throughout the day, just like the consideration above, it’s going to think that the temperature is warmer than it is, making your AC run at times where you simply don’t need it to.
This is only increased by the fact that the window will be amplifying the sun’s heat. If can’t reposition your thermostat, making sure that you’re closing the blinds or curtains on your windows during the hottest parts of the day.
6. Install a Ceiling Fan
While ACs are very effective at cooling down the rooms of your house, they’re also very demanding when it comes to energy usage. To minimize the use of your AC unit, why not install a ceiling fan in a couple of your rooms.
These fans are a great way to circulate the air in a room while using minimal amounts of electricity, especially when compared to AC units. You can turn them on and off as please and some will even connect to your smartphone, the same as your thermostat will!
7. Use Portable Fans
Just like the consideration above, buying a couple of portable fans may be the answer you’ve been looking for when it comes to keeping yourself cool and your power usage down. With a portable fan, these are extremely inexpensive, and you can move them from room to room with you wherever you go.
In some cases, you may even be able to stop using your AC unit altogether and simply use a fan pointed at yourself! These are also ideal when you’re going to bed since you can pop them on your bedside table.
8. Time for an Upgrade, Windows
No, we’re not talking about buying a Mac or moving onto Windows 10, we’re talking about the windows in your walls! If you’re using older windows, even if they are dating several years, they might not be as energy-efficient as current models, meaning you’re letting the heat escape in the colder months, and the coolness escapes during the summer.
Although installing brand-new windows in your house has some obvious expenses to it, the long-term costs that you’ll save through electricity through all seasons of the year will more than pay for itself over the next couple of years.
9. Consider Replacing Your HVAC Filters
Many homes in the US have HVAC air filters for improving indoor air quality, but how often to do you replace them? Your HVAC system is responsible for keeping the air flowing smoothly through your air conditioning system and stop dust blocking everything up.
However, if your filters are well-used, full of dust and grime, the system will have to work much harder to push the air through, sometimes failing completely which will only result in more energy being used.
Thankfully, these filters are incredibly cheap and easy to change yourself. You’ll want to change them every couple of months or so.
10. Have Lots of BBQs!
Okay, we’re not saying that should have lots of BBQs, although they are lots of fun. The point here is that you should avoid cooking indoors during the summer months where possible.
This is because turning on your oven, stove, kettle and even your toaster can quickly warm up a room which is going to put your air conditioning system in overdrive, therefore using more electricity.
11. Think About Insulation
While we’ve spent a lot of time already talking about your doors and windows, have you considered the other aspects of your property that could be letting heat escape? Most notably, we’re talking about your walls and attic spaces.
While this may not affect most newer houses, if you’re living in an older property, this initially large investment will pay off for many years to come. In most cases, it can even dramatically add more value to your property in the event you want to sell!
12. Move to Lower Ground
Naturally, heat rises. This is a straight-up fact. So, if you’re looking for a way to stay cooler, during the hottest parts of the day, restrict yourself to staying downstairs, outside the house, or even in your basement if you’ve got one.
If you’re living and moving around upstairs where all the heat is, the chances are that you’re going to give into the temptation of using your AC unit, which can easily be avoided by deciding where you’re going to be.
13. Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit
If you’re not getting your air conditioning unit serviced regularly, this is only going to cause problems down the line. This could include faulty circuits, voltage levels and making sure that the cooling system on the inside is working to the optimal level.
If any of these features are faulty, it means that your system is going to be working a lot harder than it needs to be, therefore using much electricity which is going to put your bill through the roof. Try to get your system serviced by a local contractor at least once a year.
14. Invest in Solar Panels
As solar power technology becomes more and more affording, it’s only natural that investing these panels into your garden or the roof of your house can benefit you for many years to come. In addition to freely powering your air conditioning units for you during the summer, the electricity can be used to power all aspects of your home.
This can reduce your electricity bill every month of the year for decades to come!
15. Turn Off Other Electric Compliances
When your AC unit is churning away, have you ever thought about how much more energy you’re using on top of the electric that this is then consuming? If you’re leaving certain devices plugged in during the day, such as your kettle, microwave, oven, or laptops, try turning them off and pulling out the plugs when you’re not using them.
This ensures that you’re not needlessly using electricity that will affect your summer bills. You might even consider buying affordable timer plugs. These can be set at different times which will allow you to limit the amount of power you’re using.
16. Go Outside!
While being outside and relaxing in your garden is a sure-fire way to cut your electricity bills, why not take yourself further afield away from your home, so you’re not tempted to jump back inside and turn up the AC. Make sure you’re turning off all your electronics before you go!
17. Check Your Electric Companies Peak Times
Some electricity companies will charge you more during peak-times when the mass population is also using their services. This is because the output is much greater and therefore more power is needed, naturally making the costs rise.
You can find out your company’s peak times by referring to your contract or simply by calling them up and asking for more information.
18. Ask Your Company for a Discount
While you’re already a secured customer of your electricity company, there’s no harm in calling them up or contacting them online to see what kind of discounts you may be entitled to. Sometimes, these company’s may have summer packages, or certain terms and conditions you can meet that will give you a cheaper monthly bill!
19. Change Your Electricity Provider
If you feel like you’re paying far too much money for your electrical service and you’re not entitled to any discounts, one of the best things you can do is change your provider. Remember the fact that everybody uses electric companies and they are competing for customers.
With this in mind, you may be able to call up another provider for a discount. After all, there’s no reason why you can’t keep changing company when a better deal arises. If you tell your current company you plan on leaving them, the chances are that they’ll try and give you an offer to stay. Don’t be afraid to haggle.
As you can see, there are many proactive steps you can take when it comes to cutting your electricity bill this summer. Not only will you saving yourself a ton of money that you can then spend on other, more enjoyable things, you’ll also be doing your part to reducing your global carbon footprint.