Utah has seen some mild temperatures this spring, but the weather will soon be heating up and homeowners are expecting their electricity bills to spike with the running of their air conditioning systems.
Here are some ways reduce your cooling costs this summer.
- Keep your blinds closed.
Surprisingly, up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows and utilizing shades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Blackout curtains block sunlight, naturally insulating the rooms in which they’re installed. Consumer Reports recommends neutral colored curtains with white plastic backings to reduce heat gain by up to 33 percent.
- Set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise. Set to run counterclockwise in the summer at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a wind chill breeze effect that will make you and your guests feel cooler.
- Proper Ventilation: Make sure your air intake vents are not covered by furniture or other objects in your home. Return air vents on walls need at least 3 inches of space for proper air exchange. Adjusting your registers in each room to at least half creates a good static pressure within your duct system. This allows air to flow more freely throughout your entire home and provides a more consistent temperature throughout.
- Maintenance and ducts: If you don’t have your cooling system professionally maintained each season, or fail to change the furnace filter regularly, your system will consume more energy to provide cooling. Leaks in your duct system can result in up to 30 percent energy loss, forcing your air conditioner to work harder to cool your home driving up utility costs.
- Thermostat settings: How you program or set your thermostat will greatly affect how much it costs to run the air conditioning. Keeping the temperatures consistent during the hot summer days will keep your system from overworking when temperatures hit their peak.
During the peak summer season, your air conditioner is running more than ever, but there is some good news when it comes to energy savings. According to energy.gov, air conditioners use about 5 percent of all the electricity produced in the United States, costing homeowners more than $11 billion annually. Replacing an old air conditioner unit with an energy efficient unit could save you 40 % on your home cooling costs. If your air conditioning unit is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading it for a more energy efficient unit. Today’s best air conditioners use less energy to produce the same amount of cooling, with some consumers seeing as much as a 70% energy savings.
This summer is shaping up to be a hot one; according to the Farmer’s Almanac, Utah will be hit with an exceptionally hot summer this year. We hope that these tips have provided some ways to keep you and your home cooler.