Your house might cost $700 to keep cold while a similar house next door will cost half that. This post will help you make your house a low-cost energy leader in your neighborhood. Our concentration is on slashing cooling costs; however, most of the following tips will save you cash on heating, as well.
Replace old AC
Replacing a 10-year-old central or window air conditioning unit with an Energy Star unit may slash your cooling expenses by 30 – 50% and save you enough over your new model’s lifetime to offset its investment price.
Switch to compact fluorescent lamps
Standard incandescent bulbs will give off more heat than compact fluorescent lamps.
You already know that CFL’s slash lighting expenses; however, they slash cooling expenses, as well. That is because, unlike incandescents, they’ll give off little heat. Around 90% of the electricity utilized by an incandescent bulb is converted to heat instead of light. That additional heat means additional cooling costs.
Install programmable thermostat
It’s one other easy upgrade which quickly pays back. Setting the cooling system 4℉ – 6℉ warmer when you are away on vacation or at work and automatically reducing it to 78℉ when you are home may cut 5 – 20% off your utility bill.
Change or clean air conditioner filters once a month
The main cause of AC breakdowns are dirty air filters and they cost around 7% more in energy expenses in warm climates. During the summer change central air conditioner furnace filters once a month. The majority of window units feature a removable filter behind their air inlet grille which you may remove and rinse every month.
Fix leaks in air conditioner ducting
If your house was constructed in the last ten years or so, it likely has well-sealed ductwork. However, if you reside in an older house, 10 – 40% of your cooling spend is lost through gaps inside the duct joints. This cold air is wasted as the ducts run through a basement, crawl space, or attic. It may be a difficult do-it-yourself job to do effectively because it takes a pro to test for leaks after and before the repairs. If you are game for sealing the ducts on your own, assess your ductwork for splits, cracks, or bad connections and feel for any escaping air as the system is on. After sealing all leaks, keep the ducts cold by insulating them using R-6 or greater fiberglass duct wrap if they run through a warm attic.
Block the sun out using window shades
Around 30% of unwanted heat will come through the windows. Putting tinted window film, insulating curtains, or shades on west- and south-facing windows may save you up to 7%, or $45 per year on cooling expenses. The blend of trees and shades may reduce indoor temperatures by 20℉ on a warm day. Insulating curtains save even more on both cooling and heating expenses.