Is your electric bill too high?
Your AC could be to blame, especially when you live in a state like Florida where you have to run it almost year-round.
But when the outside temperature soars, the last thing you want to do is turn the air down too much.
You don’t have to sacrifice your comfort to lower your electric bill. Little changes to your home and habits can cut your energy use, ensuring you pay less on your utilities.
Check out these options for dealing with high energy bills due to your AC usage.
Change the Air Filter
Do you keep up with your air filter changes? Dirty, clogged filters slow the airflow through the system. That makes the system work harder to cool your home.
Most filters need to be changed after no more than 90 days. You might need to change your filter as often as monthly depending on your circumstances.
If you notice things getting a little dusty around your home, it’s time to check the filter. If you see a buildup on the filter, it’s time to change it.
Leak anywhere in your home let the cooled air escape. That makes your home warmer than you might want.
Your windows and doors are a common spot for those leaks to happen. Caulk can seal up the gaps in those areas.
Weatherstripping is also helpful along your doors. It can stop air loss in those areas if the door doesn’t seal tightly on its own.
Check your foundation for other cracks and gaps. Sealing those areas can cut down on your energy use.
Check the Ducts
Your ductwork is important in delivering the cooled air efficiently. If something’s wrong with them, your system has to work harder to cool your home.
Have a professional check and clean your ductwork. If there’s lots of dirt and gunk in the ducts, it hurts the air circulation in the system.
This is also a chance to look for damage to the ductwork. Holes or gaps in the ductwork can let the cooled air leak before it reaches the main rooms in your home.
Sealing those holes or replacing the faulty ductwork lets the air flow well. This reduces your energy use.
You can also insulate the ductwork to reduce temperature transfer. The cool air can get where you want it better with the insulation.
Clear the Vent Area
Are your vents clear and open? If you have furniture near the vents where your cold air blows, you won’t get as much airflow. This can make your space feel warmer and cause you to increase your thermostat.
Adjust your furniture positioning to allow the cold air to flow freely into the room. If you have long curtains near the vents, push them aside, or replace them with shorter curtains.
Close the Curtains
Your windows are great for letting in bright light, but they also let in heat. That’s especially true on south-facing windows, where direct sunlight can heat up your room.
Closing your curtains when the sunlight beats into the room can keep your space cooler without the need for cranking up the AC.
Replace Old Windows
New windows can also help since 25 to 30% of your heating and cooling energy happens because of heat gain from windows. If your windows are especially old or drafty, you might benefit even more from new windows.
If you’re due for new windows, consider windows with low-e glass, which uses a special coating that doesn’t interfere with the view. It can cut your home’s energy loss by 30% to 50% by controlling heat transfer through your windows.
Time Baking and Cooking Right
Anything that heats up your home makes your AC work harder to cool the space. Avoid baking or cooking inside during the hottest parts of the day. Wait until cooler times to turn on heat-producing appliances.
Grilling keeps the heat outside, so you can enjoy hot meals without heating up your home. Cooking large batches of food and reheating in the microwave can also keep your home cooler.
Adjust the Thermostat
You don’t want to turn the temperature up too high, but turning it up a few degrees can lower your utility bills.
For every degree you increase your thermostat, you can save roughly 3% on utility bills.
One report suggests that 78 degrees is an ideal temperature when you’re home. You don’t have to go that high if it feels too hot for you.
But if you normally keep your thermostat set at 72 degrees, even bumping it up to 74 or 75 degrees makes a big difference on your bills.
Turn on Fans
Fans help circulate the cooled air and may make it more comfortable even with a higher setting on your thermostat. Fans are usually cheaper to operate than air conditioning, so that can save you money.
Ceiling fans can help cool the room in general. Run your ceiling fans throughout the day to keep the space cool.
If you have a room that stays warmer than others, a box fan can make that space more comfortable without adjusting your AC thermostat.
Get an AC Tuneup
Regular HVAC maintenance is also important to keep all systems running smoothly.
When you run your AC almost year-round, you can benefit from two yearly checkups. Your heating and cooling specialist will check everything in the system to ensure it’s operating correctly.
If there’s a small problem with the system, it could hurt the energy efficiency. That means you’ll spend more to keep your AC running.
Those checkups can enable you to fix the little problems early before they make things worse.
You can also find out if your AC system is ready to be replaced. Older systems naturally take more energy to operate. The older your system gets, the higher you might notice your utility bills getting.
Why Is Your Electric Bill Too High?
Answering the question, “Why is my electric bill too high?” helps you determine how to reduce your usage. You need your AC on hot days, and you don’t want to sacrifice comfort. With our recommended changes, you can stay cool and use less energy.
Does your AC need some work? Explore our AC services to see if we can help your system run better and use less energy.