14 super-easy ways to reduce air conditioning costs

Discover how to reduce air conditioning costs so you can enjoy the cool air throughout the warmer months without the worry of rising energy bills.

During the summer months, we can also take pleasure in cold and conditioned air. And while witnessing temperatures rising to record new highs, air conditioning (AC) is crucial to creating comfortable environments.

However, continuous air conditioning can send your monthly energy bills soaring if you don’t give your system the necessary attention it needs. In fact, recent reports reveal that 40-60% of the energy usage in your home or commercial space can be consumed by your HVAC system.

The key is to stay on top of maintenance, starting with the following fourteen points.

How to reduce air conditioning costs?

1. Give your windows a new lease of life

Old windows on your property are probably not energy efficient. So, one way of reducing air conditioning costs is to invest in new energy-efficient windows. Some initial investments will be required upfront. However, they provide a proven long-term ROI.
Newer windows have an energy-efficient coating that will minimise the infrared and ultraviolet light that passes through the glass. During winter, the windows retain the indoor heat and do not let it escape, while during the warmer months, the windows reflect the heat away to prevent the rooms from heating up. This design significantly reduces the burden on your air conditioning to reduce your energy bills.

2. Seal your windows for air leaks

Badly sealed windows leak air. So, the air that was just cooled by your air conditioning unit leaves the room and allows cold air to enter. Your air conditioning unit will have to work much harder to maintain the required temperature continuously. Sealing leaks or crevices prevents the cold air from seeping out of your windows, reducing the need to use the AC.

Before you caulk and seal the leaks and cracks in your homes, the first step is to locate the openings. Below are some of the most common sources of leaks and gaps:

  • Plumbing and utility access
  • Loft entrances
  • Behind knee walls
  • Dropped ceilings
  • Door and window frames
  • Air ducts
  • Outlets and switches
  • Water and boiler flues

Check all areas and block whatever gaps you locate.

3. Open the windows for some night-time ventilation

One effortless and free cooling technique is known as cross ventilation. Simply open a couple of windows in a house or just one room to circulate fresh air. Cross ventilation enables cooler ambient air to replace the warmer indoor air during the night. Fans can help speed up this process but remember not to leave the air conditioning on at night if you open the windows.
Leaving the windows open can overwork the air conditioner, resulting in additional air conditioner usage and increased energy bills.

4. Turn off your air conditioning unit when you don’t need it

It’s surprising how carefree people become when monitoring or forgetting to turn off their air conditioning. It’s basic, but you should always turn off your air conditioning system when the rooms are unoccupied, especially if you leave the building.

5. Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats have features that can significantly help save energy. For instance, allowing you to schedule your air conditioning or set intelligent triggers that help maintain a room’s climate. As soon as the desired temperature is received, your AC switches off to reduce air conditioning costs.

Many people don’t bother to adjust their thermostats in hot weather. They crank it to the minimum possible temperature and leave it running. Households can save 10% annually by adjusting the room temperature by 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day.

A programmable thermostat can do this slight readjustment on its own. It can sense and increase the temperature or completely turn the air conditioner off. Plus, you can schedule the air conditioner to increase by a few degrees when you are asleep and lower it back down again when you are about to wake up.

6. Use ceiling and portable fans

Ceiling fans circulate fresh air to remove the burden from your air conditioning units. Using existing ceiling fans (or installing them throughout the home) can increase a building’s energy efficiency.

Ceiling fans may be considered low-tech. However, they work miracles to keep rooms cooler and can reduce a house’s air conditioning needs and save you up to 40% on electricity costs.

Portable fans are a suitable option too. They can be strategically positioned around the house, near the windows or doors, keeping the room well ventilated.

But remember, there’s a difference between fans and air conditioners. Fans do not physically cool the air but create the sense and feeling that the room is cool by moving the air away from the skin. With fans only using a small fraction of the energy that air conditioning units use, it saves more energy costs and is a worthwhile alternative to an air conditioning unit.

If you get a ceiling fan, ensure the blades are angled for the air to push down towards the recipients.

7. Replacing HVAC air filters

HVAC air filters are vital to maintaining an HVAC unit functions correctly while keeping your costs low. They prevent dust and other airborne particles from getting into the air stream and spreading around the house. Over time, these dust particles can accumulate on the filters and block them off.

If the filters are dirty, the HVAC unit will have to work harder to circulate clean and fresh air around the house, consuming far more energy than required.

Changing the air filters will:

  • Prevent damage to the HVAC unit
  • Block off dust particles more efficiently
  • Save energy

Even though air filters are crucial, they are often the most overlooked component of an HVAC system. To keep the air conditioning air filters in optimal condition, have them checked, serviced, and regularly changed.

Discover how often you should change your air filters.

8. Make sure your air conditioner is the right size

The air conditioner’s appropriate size depends on the area. A unit too small for a room will work harder, and one too big will use more energy than required to cool the room. The simple solution? Make sure you choose the best air conditioning unit for your building.

9. Don’t skip maintenance

To improve your HVAC efficiency, schedule maintenance for your heating/cooling system. Planned and preventative HVAC maintenance keeps your system running at capacity, saving you money and energy in the future.

If you keep skipping maintenance schedules, issues can arise, making your HVAC produce more to give you a hefty AC bill at the end of the month.

10. Insulate lofts and garages

Windows are just one place where the house leaks air. Lofts, walls, and garage spaces also leak air back and forth. Other than leaks, heat can transfer through the walls during summer. As the air escapes, your unit will have to work more to cool your home, increasing your air conditioner costs.

Using a professional to insulate your home is ideal to achieve energy efficiency. If the house is old, applying insulation to the existing structure can be a worthwhile investment.

By insulating the home, you prevent outdoor heat from getting inside. During the summer, this works as a great energy saver, as you keep your home cool through passive means rather than employing air conditioning or other such methods.

11. Use blinds, curtains, and shades

Air conditioning works harder in rooms that catch the sun and heat up like a greenhouse. A solution to block out the sun is installing light-coloured blinds. Even light-coloured curtains will help block out the sun.

The Department of Energy says that smart management of window coverings alone can decrease heat gain by up to 77%.

Using curtains, blinds, and other window shade treatments can help keep a building cool and reduce your air conditioning costs.

12. Install solar panels

Typically, solar panels are installed on home roofs and utilise the sun’s energy to power a home. In return, they lower the cost of running an HVAC unit.

The investment you need to pay for installing these panels depends on whether they are leased or bought as new. But either way, the panels are proven to reduce air conditioner costs.

Moreover, solar panels are one way that homeowners can remove the risk of becoming the next casualty of high electricity bills.

Solar energy is a powerful way to produce renewable energy to power your air conditioner and provide energy for the remainder of your household appliances. This solution comes at a fraction of the cost compared to getting power from an energy provider.

Furthermore, solar panel units will generate enough energy to save you thousands in electricity costs over 25 years.

13. Find lower ground

In a regular household, the upstairs section is warmer than the downstairs. By spending more time on the ground floor and structuring your living arrangement downstairs, you can prevent the use of air conditioning upstairs for a considerable amount of the day.

By simply focusing on one area of the house, you bring about a meaningful change in reducing your electrical bills caused by air conditioners.

14. Invest in more trees and plants

For an environmentally friendly way of saving energy and increasing natural scenic greenery, homeowners could plant more trees and plants, particularly on the south and west sides of the home.

Planting bushes and other foliage-based greenery in front of windows block the sunlight from entering the house in the first place and absorbs the heat, resulting in cooler indoor temperatures.

Likewise, planting trees on the sides of your house keep your home in the shade.

Enjoy the best air conditioning costs

These are just a few measures you can try to reduce your air conditioner costs. Not all will be applicable for every situation, but even if a couple suits you, you’ll see the difference in air conditioning costs at the end of each month.

Now that you know how to keep air conditioning costs down, you can enjoy the summers without worrying about your electricity bills.

If you need an air conditioning system, Mid-Tech Services install and service a wide range of energy-efficient systems manufactured by leading brands such as Daikin, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Panasonic and more.

With highly accredited and qualified HVAC engineers deployed to install all HVAC systems, each job is completed to the highest standards with minimal disruption to any ongoing operations.

Get in touch to find out more or in the meantime, follow our journey on LinkedInFacebook and Instagram for more handy insights.

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