Save Money on Air Conditioning Costs
Cut your cooling costs with these money-saving tips! If you have a central air conditioning unit or a window unit, you can cut your electric bills significantly, especially in our South Florida climate, by following these energy-saving cooling tips this summer:
- When buying a window AC unit, more is not necessarily better. Base the size of the air conditioning unit on the size of the room and what may affect the temperature in the room, such as how many windows it has and whether it faces south, north, etc. An air conditioning unit that is too big for the room will work harder and cost you more. This goes for central AC units too; the size of the room is a crucial factor in choosing the right tonnage.
- When you’re shopping for a central air conditioning system, make sure the SEER number (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is 14 or better. A less efficient system will cost you more to run. In addition, look for an EER (energy efficiency ratio) of 11 or higher. A high-efficiency unit costs more, but if you live in South Florida, it will pay for itself in a few years by reducing electricity bills.
- Perform regular maintenance on your air conditioning unit. Replace the filter monthly during the hotter seasons and have a professional service your system at the beginning of each warm season.
- A cooling system can be one of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home. If you have an old air conditioning system with a SEER rating of less than 8, it may be worthwhile to consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient system. You should be able to make up the cost in just a few years.
- Install a programmable thermostat, so you can vary the temperature according to when you’re home. Set it to 78 degrees when you’re home. If you’ll be gone for more than a few hours, set the air conditioning at 85 degrees.
- Make sure your air conditioning condenser is located in a shady spot and has room to dispose of the heated air it removes from your house. Don’t crowd it with shrubs or anything else.
- Plant trees and shrubs around your house to help reduce the heat of the sun, especially on the west and south sides. This may reduce your cooling costs by up to 30%.
- Sealing up air leaks in your house will reduce your air conditioning costs as well as heating costs. Caulk or seal places where utilities come into your home (plumbing, electricity, dryer vents, etc.). Fill gaps around chimneys. Weather-strip around drafty windows and doors.
- The darker the color of your house, the more heat it will absorb, so if you’re building, buying, or considering repainting, choose lighter colors for the exterior.
Any heat that’s generated inside your home has to be removed by your cooling system, so avoid generating heat inside your home whenever possible.