As spring advances with its greenery and flowers, it’s wise to plan in advance for the hot and humid summer season that is around the corner. Here are seven quick tips to save money while air conditioning your home:
- First step- common sense. Close the window coverings to keep the heat of the sun outside. Turn off most lights (they generate heat) and limit your use of the stove or oven.
- Check for air leaks in your home. This can include windows, doors, poorly-constructed vents, and wall outlets. Use a lit candle to see if there’s any air movement on a windy day.
- Once the leaky culprits are found, seal them off. There are many products available: spray foam, window and door weather stripping, caulking, etc. Talk to your local hardware person for advice on the best fix.
- Keep your air conditioner in good running condition. You’ll save money in cooling costs to have a serviceman check out your central air conditioner in late spring before the first heat wave arrives. Refrigerant leaks and dirty air conditioning coils are the two biggest reasons for sub-par cooling in the home.
- Make sure the AC ducts in the attic are properly sealed at the joint and all ductwork is insulated. Ten to thirty percent of cooled air escapes because of these two fixable items.
- Clean your AC filters! This commonly-neglected chore reduces AC efficiency and uses up more electricity.
- For window air conditioners, be sure you have insulation around the entire shape of the air conditioner. Use strips of sturdy foam insulation and cut each piece to slight oversize to fit the space between the side of the air conditioner and the window. Use a putty knife to push the foam into place. Also be sure to keep the air conditioner filter changed frequently.