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Smart Strategies for Keeping Your Cooling Costs Down

Invest in Smart Thermostats and High-Efficiency AC Units

One of the surest ways to keep your cooling costs down is to invest in energy-efficient upgrades like smart thermostats and high-efficiency air conditioning units.

Smart or programmable thermostats ensure better control over the temperatures within your home. The best ones can learn your schedule and preferences, adjusting readings to ensure optimal cooling when you’re home and conserving energy when you’re away. With a smart thermostat, you won’t leave your air conditioner running at full tilt when you forget to change the readings before leaving for work.

However, you can’t keep your cooling costs down if your air conditioner isn’t a high-efficiency unit in the first place. High-efficiency AC units are designed to use less energy while delivering your desired temperatures.

They are high-efficiency options because they feature technologies such as variable-speed compressors and more efficient air handlers. You can pick out AC units that promise high energy efficiency by their SEER ratings. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Adopt DIY Tips for Improving Home Insulation and Reducing Heat Gain

Improving your home’s insulation is another practical way to keep your cooling costs down. Adequate insulation will reduce the load on your AC system. Some of the things you can do on your own to improve the insulation around your home include the following:

  • Seal any leaks. Check your home for air leaks around your ductwork, windows, doors, and electrical outlets. If you can feel air around these areas, seal them with weather stripping or caulk.
  • Plant more shade trees. The trees will have the same impact as curtains by blocking off some of the sun’s heat. However, it’s a longer-term approach because most trees will take a few years to grow.
  • Install thermal curtains. These are curtains designed to block out the bulk of the sun’s heat during the hottest parts of the day. By keeping out the sun’s heat, you can reduce the strain on your air conditioning unit.

Don’t Ignore Seasonal Maintenance

You can’t keep cooling costs down if your air conditioner is in dire need of maintenance. Some important maintenance tasks your technician will complete include:

  • Cleaning or replacing your air filters
  • Checking your refrigerant levels
  • Checking and lubricating moveable parts
  • Checking electrical components
  • Testing for proper airflow

Quality maintenance work will help your air conditioner run more efficiently. This will lower the running costs, prolong its lifespan, and help you avoid unexpected breakdowns that may be hard to fix.

Take Advantage of Natural Ventilation 

Tapping into natural ventilation, like wind flowing through your windows, can reduce your dependence on your air conditioner and help you keep cooling costs down.

Opening windows on opposite sides of a room is very effective for pushing hot air out and allowing cooler air to flow in. You can also achieve the same purpose by putting a box fan opposite a window in rooms without opposite windows to create cross-ventilation.

However, you should only use this approach when you want to give your air conditioner a break. Otherwise, you’ll just end up putting more strain on the system.