June 3, 2024
14 Ways to Reduce Your AC Bill This Summer

Summertime in Salem, OR, is the time of year that most people look forward to scheduling vacation time and spending more time outdoors. However, one part of summer you’re likely not looking forward to is the rise in your energy bill. Fortunately, by implementing some of the tips that we’re going to go over below, you can help reduce your AC usage and lower your energy bills this summer.

Block Out the Sunlight

Direct sunlight can cause a tremendous increase in temperature. If you’re letting direct sunlight pour into the rooms of your home, your air conditioning system is going to be running non-stop to get your home’s temperature back down. Instead, avoid this issue by blocking out the sunlight. You can use curtains, blinds, or a UV-resistant window film.

Use a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat can be a great option for those who have a traditional dial thermostat. An upgraded smart model allows you to program different temperature settings. You can opt for increasing your indoor temperature by a few degrees at times of the day when your family isn’t home. Then, have the temperature go back down to a comfortable level before you return home. The more you can optimize your AC usage, the more affordable your energy bills are going to be.

Seal Up Your Home

While insulation does a good job of preventing heat from transferring from the outside of your home to its inside, it can only do so much. If there are cracks or gaps on your exterior walls, this can allow unwanted hot air to seep into your home. You’ll want to check around your doors, windows, outlets, and light switches to see if there’s a noticeable change in temperature. If so, seal up those gaps with weatherstripping, caulking, and foam inserts.

Employ Exhaust Fans Regularly

Exhaust fans are meant to remove air from your home. This is why they’re installed in areas such as your bathrooms and over your kitchen stove. These areas are prone to a buildup of steam and odors. Make sure that you turn your exhaust fans on whenever you’re cooking or taking a shower to remove that overly humid air. If you fail to do this, that humid air will get stuck inside your home and make it feel much hotter. This can have you turning the temperature down on your thermostat to compensate.

Cook Outside

Running your stove or oven can create unnecessary heat inside your home. This will cause your cooling system to kick on to cool your home back down. Instead of going through this process, simply skip cooking inside using your oven. Instead, opt for grilling outside. You can even consider crafting cold meals or simply using your microwave to heat up your meals.

Hang Dry Laundry

There’s no doubt that your laundry demand will increase over the summer months when kids are home and activities are in full swing. Instead of using your clothes dryer, consider hanging your laundry from a clothesline. This will help reduce energy usage by not using your dryer. Plus, you can avoid heating up your home and having your air conditioning system run overtime to cool it back down to a comfortable temperature.

Keep Your Air Filters Clean

Your HVAC system’s air filter plays a big role in its ability to operate efficiently. As your filter traps unwanted airborne particles, it will start to restrict the airflow through it. This will make your cooling system work much harder to circulate air throughout your home. Checking the state of your air filter is recommended every couple of weeks so you can replace it before it starts reducing the efficiency of your AC system.

Boost Your Insulation

Your home’s insulation is what protects the outdoor heat from penetrating into your home. Each area of the country is given a minimum R-value recommendation for insulation. R simply stands for resistance. The higher the R-value, the more resistant the insulation is to heat transfer. If your home is lacking insulation or doesn’t meet the minimum R-value established for your area, then consider increasing your insulation for this summer season.

Run Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a must-have essential for your home temperature control needs. In the summertime, you’ll want to have your fans spin in a counterclockwise direction. This will force air down on you. This windchill effect will help wick sweat off your body and make you feel much cooler. The cooler you feel, the warmer you can put your setting on the thermostat.

Use a Whole-Home Dehumidifier

If you live in an overly humid climate, then the humidity is going to play a very large role in how comfortable you feel at home. If humidity levels are high, your body is unable to get rid of the sweat that it produces. It simply keeps rising in temperature. A whole-home dehumidifier is a great investment that can remove that excess humidity from your home. When your home is less humid, you’ll be more comfortable in hotter temperatures.

Get Annual System Maintenance

An inefficient air conditioning system is an effective way to increase your energy bills throughout the summer months. You want to avoid inefficiency at all costs by having a licensed HVAC professional perform annual maintenance on your unit. This should be done in the early spring to help ensure that your cooling system is operating as efficiently as possible.

Upgrade Your HVAC System

If your current cooling system is over 10 years old, it may be time to consider an upgrade. AC systems are much more energy-efficient than they were a decade ago. By upgrading, you can cash in on those monthly energy savings. Simply pay attention to a unit’s SEER rating. The higher its SEER rating, the more energy-efficient it will be.

Keep Your Outdoor Unit Free of Debris

One of the biggest maintenance failures that homeowners fall victim to is not keeping up with necessary maintenance for their outdoor condenser unit. Your outdoor AC unit is where all that heat from inside your home gets dispersed into the air outdoors. For it to work efficiently, your unit needs to be clear of debris. When leaves and shrubbery end up against the outside of your unit, it can restrict its airflow and lower your system’s ability to adequately cool your home. Make it routine to examine your outdoor unit every couple of weeks and after every major storm.

Assess Your Ducting

Your ducting can have a big impact on your comfort throughout the summer months. If your ductwork is caked full of debris, it can restrict your system’s airflow, making your cooling system run endlessly to cool your home. If your ductwork has any gaps or small leaks, it can allow cold air to escape into cavities in your walls and floors. Getting dirty ducting cleaned and gapping ductwork sealed up can work in tandem to lower your summertime energy bills.

Exceptional Cooling Service

Woodward Heating Air Plumbing provides exceptional cooling service for the entire Salem community. We can also help with all your heating, plumbing, indoor air quality, ductless mini-split, new construction, and water treatment needs. Simply give us a call to schedule your next service appointment.

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