After a long hot day, you trudge up the sidewalk and open your door.
Instantly, a soothing wave of cool air envelops you. As you take a deep breath and feel the slight chill refresh you, you silently thank your aircon for providing this summer sanctuary.
Until you see your electricity bill.
Unfortunately, energy prices have not only risen recently — but have broken record highs last year.
So coming home to a refreshingly cool house can mean even higher energy bills.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to. If you practice these 10 energy-saving cooling strategies from our Complete Guide to Choosing a Home Air Conditioner, you’ll be able to keep your house cool and your bank account fuller:
Beginning of excerpt from our free guide: The Complete Guide to Choosing a Home Air Conditioner
Whether you’re the proud owner of a brand-new air conditioner or just wondering how to lower your electricity bills, practice these habits to get the most cooling at the lowest price:
1. Set Your Temperature Wisely
Set your thermostat to cool to 23-26 degrees in summer. In winter, only heat the house up to 18-20 degrees. Every degree lower or higher can add 10% to your running costs. You’ll hardly notice a couple degrees warmer or cooler, but your electricity bill will.
2. Use Fans
Sometimes, a fan’s all you need for some welcome cooling air. Other times, you can use it along with your air conditioner to help circulate the conditioned air. This lets you set the thermostat to a higher temperature while enjoying the same comfort (see #1.) Since fans cost only $5-$20 per season to run, using them as much as possible helps lower your energy bill.
3. Shade Outdoor Unit
Either have your outdoor air conditioner component installed in a shady place, or protect it from direct sunlight with an awning. This will help it run more efficiently and protect it from overheating.
4. Maintain Regularly
Use the maintenance schedule contained in your air conditioner’s manual. This will head off many energy-sapping or expensive-to-fix issues before they even begin.
5. Clean the Filter
Clogged filters make your air conditioner work much harder to produce the same effect; for optimum energy use, clean or replace them every 1-2 months. Just this habit can lower your air conditioner’s energy use by 5-15%.
6. Only Heat or Cool Occupied Areas
If no one’s in a room, there’s little reason to condition it. Room sensors (available with most current air conditioners) automatically lower conditioning in unoccupied rooms, but you can also program your air conditioner to only heat often-used areas.
If your air conditioner doesn’t have smart controls, you can set a timer for your aircon to turn off after a period of time, or get in the habit of turning it off when you leave.
7. Keep Doors & Windows Closed
Tell your fellow inhabitants to keep all doors and windows closed as much as possible. Using thick curtains in sun-exposed rooms is also a great way to keep temperatures lower.
If you have an open plan home, you might consider using a door curtain in hallways when you want to keep in warm or cool air. (Alternatively, if you live in a climate where nights are cool, open your windows at night to take advantage of the evening chill.)
End of excerpt from our free guide: The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Home Air Conditioner
All the above tips are convenient, requiring little commitment or up-front cost. If you’re looking for significant (40% or more) lowering of your electricity bill, steps 8-10 take a little more investment but save thousands in the long run:
8. Insulate Your House
According to Sustainability Victoria
“Insulation is the most cost-effective way to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.
A fully insulated home compared to a non-insulated home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home by around 40 to 50%.”
9. Buy an Energy-Efficient Split-System Air Conditioner
If you have a ducted air conditioner system, you’re spending $100-$300 more — per season — than you need to. Energy-efficient split-system air conditioners are not only cheaper to buy and install, but also cheaper to run at only $20-$75 per year.
If you have a split system aircon but it’s over 10 years old, there’s also a good chance you’ll save with a new energy-efficient aircon. Use our New Aircon Or Not: 5-Question Checklist to see if it’s worth it for you to buy a new aircon, or if it makes more sense for you to keep your old one.
10. Go Solar
This is the biggest investment, but also the biggest savings — by far.
In fact, it’s not even close: solar systems save their owners 30-60% on their energy bills, and pay for themselves in 3-7 years.
Thanks to federal and state financial incentives, the full cost is probably lower than you think.
If you’re interested in seeing how much going solar can save you individually, just get in touch here for a personal, no-pressure solar quote from a vettednationwide installer.
From lowest to highest investment (and payback), you now know 10 foolproof strategies to lower both your house’s temperature and your energy bill. Happy summer savings!