Updated: July 7, 2022
Energy costs are rising right along with Iowa’s summer temperatures. Since you’re running your air conditioner day and night, you might dread reading that utility bill each month. Don’t give up on saving energy and money, though!
With these seven tips, you can keep your family cool and comfortable while keeping costs low.
1. Replace the furnace filter.
We really can’t say this enough. If your furnace filter is dirty or clogged, it will also affect your air conditioning. Even normal dust build-up can reduce airflow by one percent per week.
2. Use a programmable thermostat.
If you’re away from home all day, why waste that energy to cool the air in your empty house? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save up to 10 percent a year on cooling (and heating) expenses by turning the thermostat back seven to ten degrees for eight hours a day.
Note: We don’t recommend you set the thermostat back while you’re not home during periods of high humidity or extreme temperatures since your system will have to work too hard to catch up.
3. Set thermostat at 74-76 degrees.
We’re all guilty of setting our thermostats in the 68-72 range. When you set your thermostat just one degree warmer, you can save up to 2 percent on cooling costs.
4. Schedule an air conditioner tune-up.
We recommend annual maintenance to ensure your air conditioner is working at its best. A technician will clean and inspect the components and check any damages or safety hazards. If it’s not properly cleaned every year, your system could be losing up to 40 percent efficiency.
5. Change direction of ceiling fans.
Make sure ceiling fans are rotating counter-clockwise to push the air down onto you.
6. Shade the air conditioning unit.
Direct sunlight on a window unit or the outdoor unit of a central air conditioning system adds to the workload of the equipment. Lend it a hand by keeping it shaded.
7. Close the curtains.
Keep window blinds and curtains — especially on the south and west sides of the house — closed during the day. Direct sunlight can add unintentional heat to your home.
If you follow this advice and are still struggling to keep your energy costs down, it might be time to upgrade to a more energy efficient air conditioner and furnace system.