I f you are concerned about worryingly high energy bills this summer, you are not alone. Summer in Pittsburgh is often hot and muggy, so air conditioning is heavily used in the city. However, many are overpaying on their energy bills because they rely too heavily on air conditioning alone to keep them cool. The experts at Restano are here to show you how to save money on air conditioning this summer by showing you some of the simple, yet effective ways to slowly lower your energy bills. Remember, there is no miracle solution that instantly lowers your energy bills. But, it is likely a combination of our tips will help decrease your average cost over time.
Use Your Fans — Don’t Rely on Your Air Conditioner Alone
Let’s discuss how to save money on air conditioning by getting the full use out of your home fans
Though it seems obvious that fans will keep your home cool, ceiling fans and box fans are criminally underused in some households. If your air conditioning is cranked up to the max, but all the fans in your home are turned off, you are wasting money keeping your home cool. Fans are also excellent for days that are just a little bit too hot. Instead of immediately going for the air conditioner to keep you cool, turn on the fan to cool off. The cooling effect of moving air is often overlooked, but can actually lower your home temperature by up to 7 degrees. It is important to remember to turn fans off when you leave the room, otherwise you may end up wasting the same amount of electricity as you would turning on the AC.
Improve Your Insulation So Cold Air Can’t Escape
If you are noticing higher energy bills, it could be due to poor insulation
Insulation is key for keeping your home cool during Pittsburgh summers. Many homes in the area are very old and may be leaking cold air outside of your home through gaps in your insulation. As the cool air escapes, your air conditioner is working overtime to keep your home areas cool, effectively wasting your money until your insulation is fixed. An insulation fix could mean an upgrade for your windows, a complete overhaul of your home insulation, or something as simple as fixing some cracks with caulk. Even if you need a lot of extra insulation, you will soon reap the benefits of a much lower energy bill.
Reconsider Your Thermostat Placement
Incorrect placement of your thermostat could be running up the light bill
If your thermostat is too close to a window or very warm part of your house, it is likely that it is turning on too frequently. It is a very common mistake that people make, but it could be significantly increasing your electricity bill. If your thermostat is near a window, heat will enter your home and cause the air conditioning to turn on, even if the other rooms in your house are still relatively cool. The best place to secure your thermostat is on an interior wall centrally located in your home. So, go ahead, take another look at your thermostat placement and decide whether or not you have placed it in an efficient spot. It could save you a lot of money in the long run!
On Especially Hot Days, Remember to Close Your Blinds
By closing your blinds, you can prevent the sun from making your home too warm
Closing the blinds is another seemingly obvious tip, but it can really cool down your home on a hot summer day. Windows conduct heat from the sun and can heat up your home very quickly, especially on very hot days. By keeping your blinds closed during the day, you’ll be helping to keep your home cool and your AC unit won’t have to work quite as hard.
Another option is installing solar screens on your windows. Solar screens absorb sunlight and heat from the sun before it can enter your home via the windows. These screens are effective especially when placed on windows that receive consistent direct sunlight.
Consider Planting Trees Around Your Home For Increased Shaded Area
By relying more on natural shade, your air conditioner won’t have to work so hard in the summer
If you live in a home with a yard, there is a natural and relatively inexpensive way to save money on air conditioning: trees! That's right, if you plant leafy trees outside your home, they will help block a lot of the sun from entering your home. You can feel the difference walking down a shaded versus an unshaded street in the summertime — and the same principle applies to your home. With the right placement and the right size tree, you could end up saving a lot of money on electricity since your air conditioning unit doesn’t have to work quite as hard.
As we mentioned, none of these are miracle solutions to instantly cut your electricity bill in half. However, some combination of these strategies will help decrease your use of air conditioning, saving you money on your monthly bills. See which ones work best for your living space and work on keeping your home cool naturally.
If your energy bills have been slowly increasing, it could mean there is a problem with your air conditioner. If you suspect that something is wrong or have any questions about how to save money on air conditioning, contact the experts at Restano today. Our team is ready to assist with any air conditioner repairs or concerns. Trustworthy and experienced, Restano can guide you through any HVAC issue.