Using the AC but want to save money?The heat is on! Temperatures rose to a sweltering 99 degrees in NY the past two days. As reluctant as I am to switch on the AC, I couldn’t bear sleeping in a room that was registering over 105! I’m cognizant of the resources we’re using both from a production standpoint as well as the energy required to operate the AC. But as a SAHM, I’m also quite aware of the family budget.
While I sit in a much more comfortable house, I am sharing my top tips for saving money while using your Air Conditioning.
1. Proper Seal-If you install a wall or window unit, take precautionary measures to make sure it is fully sealed. Close up any gaps, cracks or crevices. Having an unsealed unit wastes money, makes the machine work twice as hard and yields less than optimal results.
2. Filters- Keep the filters clean. This may mean cleaning them once a week during peak times of pollen, after a windy day or after a storm. Cleaning the filters allows the exchange of air to happen efficiently and keeps the air you’re breathing cleaner and healthier. Clean filters help your machine to run at peak performance which will save you money in both the short-term (bills) and long run (purchasing a new machine). Examine your filters regularly for cracks and damage and replace them every season or when necessary.
3. Sunlight- One of the best parts of the summer hours is the sunlight streaming in the house. Unfortunately, the rays of light also bring heat and lots of it. Keeping shades, blinds and curtains drawn, keep the rays out and the house much cooler. This will enable you to cool your house much more quickly and make achieving a comfortable temperature much more manageable and affordable.
4. Timers/thermostat-No need to blast your AC and keep the house cool enough to hang meat. Optimal temperature is around 72-73 degrees. This will allow your home to be cool, and comfortable without being excessively chilly. Use timers to shut the machine off after bedtime, or to turn on before your arrival home.
5. Energy Star- Check for an energy star rated machine which will save you money and have less of an impact. It is a wise move to spend a little bit more upfront to save a lot more over time.
6. Fan- Use a fan to direct the cool air. Using an AC in conjunction with a fan, will help distribute the cool air, and keep the cooler air moving. This helps to keep the whole area cool as opposed to one section. (When using a ceiling fan, be sure to use switch the fan blades accordingly.)
7. Size- Use a unit that is appropriate for the size of the room. Take measurements if necessary to ensure that your unit is suitable for the size of the room being cooled. Too small or too large of machine can be a waste of energy, money and resources!