Most people are looking for ways to get the most out of every dollar and make good decisions about home cooling costs. When you’re looking for ways to cut down on your air conditioner costs, you might turn to friends, family, and neighbors to learn more tricks that could save you a few dollars here or there. But the sad fact is that there are a lot of myths floating around that could end up costing you more than what is necessary. We would like to take some time and help you sort through the misnomers to find better strategies for saving on cooling costs this summer.
Turning Your Air Conditioner Totally Off Only Saves in the Short Term
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about saving on cooling costs is how much it takes to cool a house down from a very high temperature. Lots of people completely turn their air conditioners off when they go to work and come home to an extremely hothouse. Then, they turn the air conditioner back on to cool the temperature down. This seems like a reasonable strategy for cutting costs because you don’t have to pay to keep your house cool when you’re away at work.
However, the amount of energy that your air conditioner has to expend to get it back down to a comfortable temperature is enough to offset any gains you made by turning the air conditioner off all day. To top it off, you have to spend even more on the price of electricity if you’re coming home at a peak time of day. The much better option is to turn your temperature up somewhat higher than what you would set it to if you were at home. This is a good way to save some money rather than paying for cool air that you won’t be around to enjoy. Also, it takes your AC unit longer to cool down your home after it has been off all-day
Closing Doors and Vents to Rooms You Don’t Use Isn’t Actually Helping
You should also be careful about the misnomer about closing the vents and doors to rooms that you’re not using to save on energy costs. This, again, sounds like a genius idea, but the reality is that your HVAC system was set up to work with the entire house. When you close doors and vents, what you end up doing is stopping free airflow throughout the house. This will force your air conditioner to work even harder than it would normally, which will cost more energy and money in the long run.
It Turns Out That Appliances and Electronics Add a Lot of Extra Heat
When you want to cut down on the heat in your home, you should avoid using too many appliances and electronics when it’s hot outside. It’s a myth that things like television sets, clothes dryers, and other household items don’t put out enough energy to matter. The reality is that even a curling iron that’s turned on can often heat up a small bathroom. When you multiply the number of televisions, computers, stereo systems, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and any other appliances that put out energy together, you have a lot of extra heat.
While you obviously can’t unplug your refrigerator and freezer, there are several other steps that you can take to cut down on the amount of heat that various things in your house are producing. For instance, the clothes dryer and dishwasher are two items that put out a lot of heat, but you can use them in the early morning hours when it’s not as hot outside, or you could turn them on before you leave for a few hours so that you don’t have to be around when it’s hot inside. When it comes to cooking with the oven or stovetop, skip it. Either use the barbecue outside or make a meal you can either heat up in the microwave. Or, better yet, make a cold-cut sandwich.
Don’t Fool Yourself Into Thinking That a Lower Thermostat Setting Will Cool Off the House Faster
This might be people’s wishful thinking when they’re frustrated because of the heat, but it’s actually somewhat common for people to turn their thermostats way down to a very cold temperature in an effort to get the house to cool off faster. The reality is that your air conditioner cools off the house at the same rate regardless of whether you set the thermostat to 50 degrees or to 72 degrees. When you turn the thermostat to 50 degrees, you just have to remember to manually turn the air conditioner off.
A better plan of attack is to not let your house get so hot that you have the urge to have it instantly cold. Otherwise, you could have your air conditioner set to turn on about half an hour before you get home so that you can come home to a house that’s already at a pleasant temperature.
Bigger Is Only Better With Some Things
Bigger might be better to some people when it comes to appliances, but it’s just not the case when it comes to air conditioners, which require that you buy the correct size for the square footage of your house. When you buy an air conditioner that’s too big for your space, the air cools too quickly. That might sound like a nice problem to have, but when the air cools down too quickly, the air conditioner shuts off, and it doesn’t have time to pull all of the moisture out of the air. This leaves the house feeling cool but clammy, and most people don’t like this effect. A better option is to buy the right size air conditioner for the size house that you own.
Don’t Think That Doors and Windows Are Your Biggest Problem
It might seem like the majority of the heat that leaks into the house would be around the windows and doors. You may have always been told how important it is to have enough sealings around the edges to keep the house cool and free of humidity. However, you’re going to be surprised to learn that the walls are actually a much larger source of heat transfer than anywhere else in the house. You have pipes and electrical outlets in the house, and if your home is made of wood, there’s a very good chance that you’re losing quite a bit of heat. Brick homes tend to fare better because brick can insulate better than wood. But if you want to cut down on the amount of heat transfer between the inside of your house and the outside, have a professional inspect your home to find all of the key places where you could insulate.
When it’s time to find some ways of getting the best out of your air conditioner, find tips and excellent customer service for your air conditioner and furnace at Reliable Ducts in Jacksonville, FL. We also offer air quality solutions, too.