Summer brings backyard barbecues, family get-togethers and laid-back weekends — as well as a number of opportunities to conserve AC energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, running a central air conditioner accounts for an average of 17% of a household’s typical electricity expenditures.
The good news, however, is that options to conserve AC energy are very doable without imposing major expense or disruptive alterations. Here are some proven ways to reduce electricity bills and enhance cool summer comfort.
Keep Outdoor Heat Out
The laws of physics work against keeping summer cooling costs low. Outdoor heat energy naturally infiltrates into the cooler indoor environment, seeping in through every structural crack or other weak spot. This continuous influx of heat raises indoor temperatures and causes your air conditioner to run longer cycles, consuming more energy. Keep summer heat outdoors where it belongs with these basic steps:
- Solar heat in sunlight is a major contributor to higher indoor temperatures. Close curtains and shades to keep out the sun.
- Renew worn weatherstripping around doors and windows.
- Use caulking to fill any cracks in the joint between walls and the ceiling. Seal gaps around ceiling light fixtures or openings where vent pipes, cables, or other items penetrate the ceiling.
- Make sure that pull-down attic stairs close securely and that weatherstripping is intact.
- Heat gain through the roof directly affects cooling costs in living spaces. Have attic insulation inspected by an HVAC professional to ensure it meets current Department of Energy specifications.
Maintenance Matters When You Want to Conserve AC Energy
Seasonal AC preventive maintenance allows a qualified technician to perform manufacturer-recommended procedures that support optimum cooling at the lowest cost. It also includes an up-close inspection to identify issues that might increase energy consumption and/or lead to a major malfunction.
Ceiling Fans Are Cool
A ceiling fan’s gentle air circulation uses only about 1% of the energy consumed by a central AC, yet it makes rooms feel about 4 degrees cooler than the actual temperature. This allows for a slightly higher AC thermostat setting, which means lower monthly costs.
For more information about professional service to conserve AC energy and lower monthly costs, contact Jackson & Sons.