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8 ways to Reduce Your Cooling Bill This Summer

June 16, 2021

With summer upon us and temperatures reaching well into the 90s already, your probably have your air conditioner on in full force. You want to stay cool, but pricey air conditioning bills can make it difficult to keep your home at a reasonable temperature.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of 2018 the average household in the U.S. spends $1,856 on energy costs annually. Air conditioning makes up 12% of those energy expenditures. How do you stay comfortable and reduce cooling bills? Here are eight tips from Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric to reduce your cooling bill this summer.

Seal Windows and Doors

Windows and doors that aren’t properly sealed leak cool air. Seal the space around them with caulk or weather stripping. You could save up to 15% per year according to ENERGY STAR®.

Consider replacing your old windows with new, more energy-efficient models. The investment will save money in the long-term and increase the value of your home.

Keep curtains, blinds and shades closed

According to the Department of Energy, using window coverings can reduce heat gain by 77%. Factors like fabric type and color can impact heat reduction. The DOE notes that studies have found medium-colored draperies with white plastic backings reduce heat gain up to 33%.

Hang draperies as close to the wall as possible so they fall onto the windowsill or the floor. Use Velcro or magnetic tape to attach drapes to the wall. If sealed properly, you can reduce heat by up to 25%.  

Reduce Indoor Cooking to Reduce Your Cooling Bill

Stoves and ovens generate a significant amount of heat, and make air conditioners work harder. We recommend using appliances like Instant Pots or griddles that generate less heat exhaust during the summer months.

Fire up your outdoor grill or smoker and prepare meals that don’t require an oven or stove to further minimize heat in the home. Here are some tasty no-cook recipes to get you started.

Call Applewood to install a gas line inside or out to make grilling a great choice year-round.

Programmable Thermostats

Install a programmable thermostat to adjust temperatures when you’re not home or sleeping. Smart thermostats like Google’s Nest can adjust home temperatures via an app while you’re away and reduce your cooling bill.

Xcel Energy states that proper use of a programmable thermostat can save a household about $180 per year. That’s money you can better use for your summer vacation.

Applewood’s expert technicians can recommend and install a thermostat that controls your home’s temperature and saves you money.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can also help cut cooling costs. According to Xcel Energy, ceiling fans can make temperatures feel up to eight degrees cooler.

During the summer, run your ceiling fans counterclockwise to circulate the cooler air from your air conditioner. When shopping for new fans, choose ENERGY STAR® certified models that are approximately 20% more efficient at moving air than standard models.

Window Fans

Window fans are another cost-effective option that use a minimal amount of energy. These units work best facing away from the prevailing wind. To most effectively cool your home with window fans, tightly seal the space around them and the window.

Windows in rooms on the windward side of the home should be left open. In a multi-level house, window fans should be on the upper level and open windows on the lower level.

Solar Panels

Installing solar panels on your roof will significantly reduce cooling costs in the summer. They shade the house, and the air gap between the roof and panel allows for airflow that keeps the roof and panels cooler.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found that ceilings underneath solar panels are approximately five degrees cooler than in homes without solar panels. While there is an up-front cost to purchase or lease solar panels, the investment can save money in the long run.

Service Your Air Conditioner

Finally, it’s critical to keep up with your air conditioner. Check your filters monthly and have a professional air conditioner service tune your air conditioner up annually.

A professional air conditioning technician will check the filters and clean the condenser, air handler, evaporator coils, compressor and drainage line. This improves the efficiency and the lifespan of your air conditioner.

Applewood offers air conditioning equipment checks by a certified HVAC technician.

A woman sits in front of a fan on a hot summer day.
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