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9 Tips to Save Money on Air Conditioning this Summer

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Summer's been in full swing, and with the smoldering heat comes rising electricity bills. Aside from making you sweat, this high energy cost can likewise burn into your pocket. You can't turn off the sun, but you can turn down the heat. Here are some tips on how you can save money with air conditioning while keeping your cool this summer.

1. Use some ceiling fan all around the house

Intense heat and zero air circulation can turn your home into an oven. Make your room feel five degrees cooler by installing a ceiling fan or a circulating fan. At a small energy cost, a small fan can make any room more comfortable. A strategically-placed fan can also complement your air conditioner by dispersing the cooler air. This way, you can raise the thermostat by as much as five degrees without feeling any discomfort.

2. Plant trees or have indoor plants

It's a good idea to plant trees if you have enough space all-around your house. Plant shrubs, vines, or trees to add some shade. Remember that most heat comes directly from the sun's rays that fall on your roof and windows. Aside from adding some lovely shade, trees can block the sun and cool your house at a minimal cost. It might take you some time to nurse a tree, but it's the best value for money.

"Days are very likely to be warmer than average across southern and eastern Australia this 2020. This means the risk of heatwaves and bushfires continue to be high." - Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

3. Run your thermostat economically

Invest in a good air conditioner that has an excellent programmable thermostat. Your thermostat should have a built-in timer for maximum energy efficiency. To save money on electric bills, set your thermostat to go higher as the night goes. Depending on the ambient temperature, you can also set your AC to turn off after midnight. If you have enough circulating fans, you can set your thermostat at about 23 to 25 degrees Celsius while still feeling cool. Remember that every single degree that you go up saves you a lot on your energy consumption.

4. Maintain your AC regularly

Unplanned air conditioner repairs can burn a lot of dollars out of your pocket. It is not enough to mind your thermostat; you must also care for your cooling equipment to save money. If dirty, your air conditioner filters will block airflow. Blocked air ducts will make your AC work harder. If you always find yourself setting your thermostat lower, then it might be time to check your filters. Older air conditioning units tend to attract more dust and dirt faster. Clean or replace your air conditioner filters every month. Do this, and you'll lower your cooling costs by at least 10%.

5. Don't block the cold air

If you have a central cooling system, check your floor layout. Your room's air ducts must not be blocked by furniture or with dust. Check your unit's evaporator weekly. If blocked by fallen leaves, dirt, or trash, your air conditioner will work harder to keep your rooms cool. Ensure that any foliage is at least two feet away from the condenser. Likewise, plant your day so you can avoid staying on the upper floors of your house during the hottest part of the day.

6. Relocate heat-generating appliances

You can save a lot of electricity costs by relocating your heat-producing devices away from your air-conditioned room. Appliances such as refrigerators, microwave oven, and electric stove are heat generators. Turn off your computer, television, and lamps. Do activities that generate a lot of heat, such as cooking during the cooler parts of the day.

7. Insulate your walls

Windows and roof aren't the only part of your house that adds to the heat. Consider insulating your walls, crawl spaces, ceiling, and attic. One of the best decisions that you can make this summer is to insulate your home professionally. It might cost you money upfront, especially if you have an older house, but it will surely help your air conditioning units to be more energy efficient.

8. Use window blinds, curtains, and shades

Most heat that accumulates in your room comes from direct sunlight entering through your windows. You can minimize solar heat and save on your cooling costs by keeping your windows covered. Use highly reflective light-colored blinds to reflect the most radiant heat. Consider also to upgrade your windows to make it more energy-efficient. If you are using an air conditioner, ensure that your windows are adequately sealed.

9. Get your air conditioning unit checked

Hire a local air conditioning contractor to do a one-time professional check of your AC units before summer. A good air conditioning service provider must be able to check for leaks, assess your voltage connections, make sure your refrigerant is at the correct levels, and clean the outdoor AC coils.

The costs of cooling your home can add up unless you act proactively. Print this list and have this handy so you can save on electric charges and stay cool this summer. 

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