As the temp increases, so does your AC expenses. To keep your air conditioning bills down you may be asking yourself, is it cheaper to leave your AC on all day in the summer in Portland?
It’s a popular belief that turning your air conditioner on and off throughout the day is wasteful. This is actually false.
Keeping your AC going all the time means you’re not using it very efficiently. We suggest setting your thermostat higher when you’re elsewhere, and turning it back down when you get back. You can accomplish this with a programmable thermostat. Or, a smart thermostat is able to do the job for you.
It’s far more taxing for your system to keep a consistent temperature for many hours. It can also lead to a lot of strain on your air conditioner, since it’s constantly turning on and off.
So, on top of it increasing your utility bills, it may also result in a reduced life cycle for your HVAC system.
Regardless, the bigger the difference between your home’s temperature and the outside temperature, the greater your AC expenses will be. So, what can you do to keep cool and keep your electric bills low in the summer? Here are our suggestions based off of recommendations from the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and ENERGY STAR®.
Six Approaches to Boost Your Air Conditioner’s Energy Efficiency
- Adjust Your Thermostat. The DOE states that you can conserve up to 10% annually on heating and cooling by turning up your thermostat 7-10 degrees during the time you’re away. Through the summer, it’s suggested to keep your thermostat at 78 degrees while you’re home and 88 degrees when you’re out. It’s additionally important to avoid setting your thermostat to a cooler setting than normal when you turn on your AC unit. This doesn’t actually cool down your home any faster, it just results in bigger utility bills. While these temperatures may appear warm, there are a number of methods to keep cooler without having to constantly run the air conditioning.
- Utilize Fans, Curtains and Blinds. ENERGY STAR says dialing up the thermostat by a mere 2 degrees and turning on your ceiling fan can lower air conditioning costs by up to 14% over the course of the warm months. It’s important to keep in mind that fans cool people, not rooms. So, when you leave the room, turn the fan off to conserve energy. Furthermore, keeping blinds down and curtains shut throughout the day helps keep chilled air inside. There are also some window treatments designed to deliver added insulation and boost energy efficiency.
- Effectively Seal All Doors, Windows and Openings. Leaky cracks throughout a home permit conditioned air to rapidly slip out and warmer air to get within. This can result in your AC equipment being required to work harder to keep your home comfortable and your energy bills to skyrocket. Make sure that any gaps, doors and windows are suitably sealed. Caulking or weather-stripping are quick fixes for leaks or drafts near windows and doors.
- Plan for Annual Maintenance. Scheduling air conditioner maintenance ensures your air conditioner is always functioning at its most efficient. This allows our professionals to spot simple issues before they turn into significant problems. A maintained air conditioner is usually more efficient and could even run for a longer period of time.
- Invest in a Smart Thermostat. One of the greatest methods to guarantee comfort and cost-effectiveness is with a smart thermostat. This thermostat instinctively adjusts the temperature based on your everyday schedule. It works with your smartphone to know when you’re home or elsewhere to maximize your energy savings. In fact, ENERGY STAR mentions that a smart thermostat could possibly save you about $180 annually on energy costs.
- Consider Replacing Your AC. You can figure a properly cared for AC to live for 15-20 years. But if you’re regularly calling us for air conditioning repair or your utility bills are rising with no change in thermostat settings, it could be time for an upgrade. We supply many energy-efficient air conditioners, including ENERGY STAR models that can help you save more on cooling without trading comfort.
Enhance Your Home’s Energy Efficiency with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling
No one likes to see their utility bill climb during the warmer months. If you’re looking for more ways to keep your energy use and expenses lower this summer, our professionals can help. Reach us at 503-213-4433 or contact us online today for more information.