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7 Air Conditioning Tips to Beat the Heat—and Your Energy Bills

Posted on July 20, 2017Rick Welter

 

It’s next to impossible to leave your air conditioner off during Minnesota’s sticky summer season. Hot temperatures and high dew points usually have us running indoors for cold comfort. But working your A/C unit throughout the summer can take an expensive toll on your electricity bill.

With over 100 years of experience with installing and repairing air conditioners, we’re often asked by our clients: “How can we keep our electricity bill down?” Luckily, we have the answers.

To help you beat the heat—and the bills—we’ve outlined seven money-saving tips to maximize the effectiveness of your air conditioners.

1. Check for Escaping Air

If it seems like your electric bill is higher than your air conditioning results, escaped air is most likely the culprit. Older homes especially have a tendency to let air seep out through window seals, poor insulation, or hard-to-see cracks in the walls.

A great way to diagnose the amount of air escaping is to have a home energy audit done by your local energy provider. For somewhere between $250 to $600, an energy auditor will visit your home, check for leaks, and recommend the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. The best part? Any fixes you make will increase both your home’s cooling and heating efficiency.

If you’re unable to spring for a full audit, perform one on your own. While your A/C unit is on, stand outside of your home and place your hand near your windows and doors. If you can feel any cold air, caulk around the windows and add new seals to exterior doors to keep precious cool air inside.

2. Evaluate Your Thermostat Placement

One of the most important things for efficient air conditioning is thermostat placement. For example, if you’ve placed your thermostat in a place that receives sunlight, the thermostat will think the room is hotter than it is. This triggers your A/C unit to run more often and jack up your electric bill.

To avoid over running your A/C, make sure your thermostat is placed on a wall that is not impacted by the outdoors and other possible heat sources. If your thermostat is near an exterior wall, hot lamp, or a window, consider moving it to a shaded and protected location.

3. Install Window Treatments

When we stand directly in sunlight, we are considerably hotter than in the shade. The same is true for our homes. Sunlight streaming in through your windows increases the temperature of your rooms.

To keep your homes shaded and cool, install blinds, shades or blackout curtains, specifically in your east and west facing rooms. When you’re away for the day, draw the blinds and curtains closed to keep out the hot, blistering sun. This will lower the amount of sunlight that enters your home and ease your A/C output.

4. Shade Your Home with Strategic Landscaping

Similar to blinds and blackout curtains, well-placed trees can protect your home from the hot sun. And in the winter, trees can serve as a windbreak to guard your home from harsh, freezing winds. In the end, strategically placed trees can lower room temperatures in the summer and raise temps in the winter, reducing your energy bills in the process.

To guard your home from both the sun and cold winds, plant several rows of trees and shrubs around your yard. Given that the afternoon sun is the hottest, the west side of your yard should take priority. After the west side has been planted, follow the sun’s path and plant trees in the east. Make sure your trees and shrubs are at least 20 feet from your home to avoid any exterior damage from falling branches.

5. Turn On Your Fans

According to the National Resource Defense Council, ceiling fans decrease room temperatures by an average of 10 degrees and use 90% less energy than central air conditioners. Fans accomplish this by improving air circulation. In the summer, both ceiling and floor fans push the cool air from our air conditioners down and around the room. This creates a wind effect that makes the room feel cooler. Effective fans and air circulation allows you to turn off your air conditioner more frequently or set the thermostat to a higher temperature.

Place fans strategically around your home, especially in areas of your house that are used the most. If you have ceiling fans, make sure they are running forward (counter-clockwise) to ensure they are pushing the cool air down into the room.

6. Upgrade to a WiFi Thermostat

A traditional thermostat is only as good as the person regulating it. If you’re away from home, there’s no one there to steer the ship in case of a change in weather. And let’s face it, Minnesota is notorious for drastic weather fluctuations.

Reduce your energy costs dramatically by upgrading to a WiFi thermostat. With your new thermostat, program the temperature to rise when you’re not around and lower when you usually come home.

If you’re out of town, check your smartphone to evaluate the current temperature of your home and make adjustments when necessary. Forgot to turn off the A/C when you skipped town for vacation? It’s not a problem with a WiFi thermostat. Log on anytime and anywhere to manage your thermostat.

7. Schedule Regular Maintenance

For maximum air quality and efficiency, it’s important to have your A/C unit inspected annually and be checking your air filters on a monthly basis. This ensures that both your heating and cooling systems are running at maximum efficiency all year long and also extends the lifetime of your unit. If you think something might be wrong with your air conditioner, check out our post on the most common air conditioning questions and answers to see if you need to call in a professional.

Still Not Getting the Most Out of Your A/C?

If you’re still not seeing optimal results, view our DIY air conditioner checklist to ensure your air conditioner is performing at its max all summer long. Or, have a professional take a look with our $99-dollar air conditioner maintenance special and contact us today.

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7 Air Conditioning Tips to Beat the Heat—and Your Energy Bills

Posted on July 20, 2017Rick Welter

 

It’s next to impossible to leave your air conditioner off during Minnesota’s sticky summer season. Hot temperatures and high dew points usually have us running indoors for cold comfort. But working your A/C unit throughout the summer can take an expensive toll on your electricity bill.

With over 100 years of experience with installing and repairing air conditioners, we’re often asked by our clients: “How can we keep our electricity bill down?” Luckily, we have the answers.

To help you beat the heat—and the bills—we’ve outlined seven money-saving tips to maximize the effectiveness of your air conditioners.

1. Check for Escaping Air

If it seems like your electric bill is higher than your air conditioning results, escaped air is most likely the culprit. Older homes especially have a tendency to let air seep out through window seals, poor insulation, or hard-to-see cracks in the walls.

A great way to diagnose the amount of air escaping is to have a home energy audit done by your local energy provider. For somewhere between $250 to $600, an energy auditor will visit your home, check for leaks, and recommend the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. The best part? Any fixes you make will increase both your home’s cooling and heating efficiency.

If you’re unable to spring for a full audit, perform one on your own. While your A/C unit is on, stand outside of your home and place your hand near your windows and doors. If you can feel any cold air, caulk around the windows and add new seals to exterior doors to keep precious cool air inside.

2. Evaluate Your Thermostat Placement

One of the most important things for efficient air conditioning is thermostat placement. For example, if you’ve placed your thermostat in a place that receives sunlight, the thermostat will think the room is hotter than it is. This triggers your A/C unit to run more often and jack up your electric bill.

To avoid over running your A/C, make sure your thermostat is placed on a wall that is not impacted by the outdoors and other possible heat sources. If your thermostat is near an exterior wall, hot lamp, or a window, consider moving it to a shaded and protected location.

3. Install Window Treatments

When we stand directly in sunlight, we are considerably hotter than in the shade. The same is true for our homes. Sunlight streaming in through your windows increases the temperature of your rooms.

To keep your homes shaded and cool, install blinds, shades or blackout curtains, specifically in your east and west facing rooms. When you’re away for the day, draw the blinds and curtains closed to keep out the hot, blistering sun. This will lower the amount of sunlight that enters your home and ease your A/C output.

4. Shade Your Home with Strategic Landscaping

Similar to blinds and blackout curtains, well-placed trees can protect your home from the hot sun. And in the winter, trees can serve as a windbreak to guard your home from harsh, freezing winds. In the end, strategically placed trees can lower room temperatures in the summer and raise temps in the winter, reducing your energy bills in the process.

To guard your home from both the sun and cold winds, plant several rows of trees and shrubs around your yard. Given that the afternoon sun is the hottest, the west side of your yard should take priority. After the west side has been planted, follow the sun’s path and plant trees in the east. Make sure your trees and shrubs are at least 20 feet from your home to avoid any exterior damage from falling branches.

5. Turn On Your Fans

According to the National Resource Defense Council, ceiling fans decrease room temperatures by an average of 10 degrees and use 90% less energy than central air conditioners. Fans accomplish this by improving air circulation. In the summer, both ceiling and floor fans push the cool air from our air conditioners down and around the room. This creates a wind effect that makes the room feel cooler. Effective fans and air circulation allows you to turn off your air conditioner more frequently or set the thermostat to a higher temperature.

Place fans strategically around your home, especially in areas of your house that are used the most. If you have ceiling fans, make sure they are running forward (counter-clockwise) to ensure they are pushing the cool air down into the room.

6. Upgrade to a WiFi Thermostat

A traditional thermostat is only as good as the person regulating it. If you’re away from home, there’s no one there to steer the ship in case of a change in weather. And let’s face it, Minnesota is notorious for drastic weather fluctuations.

Reduce your energy costs dramatically by upgrading to a WiFi thermostat. With your new thermostat, program the temperature to rise when you’re not around and lower when you usually come home.

If you’re out of town, check your smartphone to evaluate the current temperature of your home and make adjustments when necessary. Forgot to turn off the A/C when you skipped town for vacation? It’s not a problem with a WiFi thermostat. Log on anytime and anywhere to manage your thermostat.

7. Schedule Regular Maintenance

For maximum air quality and efficiency, it’s important to have your A/C unit inspected annually and be checking your air filters on a monthly basis. This ensures that both your heating and cooling systems are running at maximum efficiency all year long and also extends the lifetime of your unit. If you think something might be wrong with your air conditioner, check out our post on the most common air conditioning questions and answers to see if you need to call in a professional.

Still Not Getting the Most Out of Your A/C?

If you’re still not seeing optimal results, view our DIY air conditioner checklist to ensure your air conditioner is performing at its max all summer long. Or, have a professional take a look with our $99-dollar air conditioner maintenance special and contact us today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

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