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14 Ways to Reduce Your Air Conditioning Costs

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shutterstock_231832081Cooling or heating your home and office with air conditioning means you can count on a comfortable indoor environment regardless of the season. When you’re regularly in control of the temperature, however, the costs in energy consumption can be quite expensive. To help you cut down on the costs attached to air conditioning usage, we’ve listed some simple guidelines you can follow to help reduce energy bills. This way, you can reduce your energy bills while still maintaining a pleasant atmosphere both at home and in the office.

Set your air conditioner

As a guideline, set your unit to 24°C during summer and 19°C in winter. For every degree of heating or cooling you do without, you save on energy consumption. Keep that in mind when adjusting temperatures, and avoid going too cold in summer or too warm in winter. As a general rule, try to not set your temperature any lower than 8°C below outdoor temperature during the summer.

Shade

Heat absorption can be drastically reduced during the summer if you have curtains, shades, shutters, or awnings attached to your windows. In winter, heavy curtains will keep warm air trapped inside. As a result, your air conditioning bills will be lower.

Sleeping hours

For comfortable sleeping during the summer you don’t need the air conditioner to run at the same temperature as it does throughout the day. Raise the set temperature down so that it consumes less energy at night. In winter, do the opposite. You won’t notice the difference while sleeping, but the energy saving will be there.

Remember the fan

Fans assist in circulating the cool air generated by your air conditioner, meaning less air needs to be pumped into the room. Fans generally reduce the need for air conditioning, and provide comfortable temperatures at a reduced cost.

Keep it shut

Keep windows and doors closed, or your air conditioning will have no effect and lead to higher power consumption.

Alternative units

Portable or window air conditioning units are great if you want to cool just the area you are in. They can use up to half as much energy than a central air conditioning unit uses for the same area, and this way you won’t unnecessarily be cooling unused parts of the home.

Maintenance

Ensure your air conditioning unit is maintained regularly and that the unit’s filter is either replaced or cleaned so as to maintain optimum efficiency. A dirty filter makes any air conditioning unit work harder, meaning more electricity and higher energy costs. Use recommendations by the manufacturer to avoid energy waste and overworking your air conditioning unit. As a rule, filters should be replaced or cleaned once a month.

Reduce heat emissions

Turn off lights in unused areas of your home and this will lessen the amount of heat being emitted inside your home. It may not seem like a huge difference but it adds up. Remember that ovens, computers, printers, and other equipment all emit heat, and in summer this will add to your air conditioning running costs.

Bigger is not always better

Avoid the temptation to purchase an air conditioning unit that is larger than what is required by your home. Get expert advice from your air conditioning specialist to avoid an unnecessary financial outlay for your unit and the costs of future energy bills.

Insulate

Correct insulation in your home or office can lessen your energy costs by reducing the need for auxiliary heating and cooling systems.

Dehumidify

In climates with high humidity, use a dehumidifying system to maintain comfort in high temperatures and make a smaller air conditioning unit more useful.

Circulation

Good circulation around your air conditioner units, both inside and outside, are essential for optimum efficiency. Make sure that the inside unit is not blocked by curtains, plants, fixtures, or furniture, and the outside unit not blocked by plants or dust accumulation. If the air circulation around either of these units is restricted, it will lead to increased power consumption and could damage the unit permanently.

Replace

By replacing an old, overworked air conditioning unit with a newer model, you could see another drastic drop in energy bills. This is due to newer models being made more energy efficient, and a lot cleaner than old units, allowing for better circulation of air.

Keep it clean

Air conditioners filter dirt and bacteria from the air and are therefore susceptible to clogging. Both inside and outside units need to be cleaned, and this is normally outlined in the air conditioner manual. Always ensure that your unit is turned off prior to cleaning. Additionally, you may prefer to hire a specialist to annually clean your unit and keep it in tip top shape and efficiency.

Air conditioning units keep us comfortable and productive all year round. By following these simple and practical tips you can maintain an efficient system that will, not only make your life more relaxed, but also keep your energy costs low and power consumption less.

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