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Ways to Save Money on Your Energy Bills This Summer

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), running air conditioning over the summer accounts for 12 percent of a household’s energy expenditure, on average. Although the usual cost of a household’s energy bill is less than this in Idaho due to the climate, air conditioning is still increasing your energy bills more than you want. These tips can help you save money this summer while still keeping your house cool.

Replace Your Old Air Conditioner 

If you have an older air conditioning unit, you should consider upgrading to a new energy-efficient model. While this sounds counterproductive – spending money to save money – you’ll save money in the long run because energy-efficient units use less electricity.

ENERGY STAR advises purchasing a new unit if yours is more than 10 years old. When you’re shopping for an air conditioner, you want to look for one with the ENERGY STAR seal. These ACs are known for being energy efficient, typically by around nine percent when compared to ones that aren’t ENERGY STAR certified.

As you’re comparing the options, you want to look for one with a higher energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating. The EER is a rate that compares the cooling capacity, a measurement in British thermal units (BTUs) per hour, in contrast with the power input, measured in watts. The Department of Energy estimates you can save between 20 to 50 percent on your energy expenses when you upgrade your air conditioning to one with a high EER.

Close Your Windows, Curtains, and Blinds

On hot days, close your windows. You also want to close your curtains or blinds. If you don’t have curtains or blinds, invest in them for all of your windows.

If you leave your blinds open, a lot of sunlight will stream into your home, causing a gradual buildup of heat that will be hard to eliminate. This sunlight heats your home and causes your air conditioner to run more frequently, or you may need to change the settings to combat the heat entering your home.

At night, you may want to open your windows rather than running your air conditioning.

Choose Your AC Settings Based on Humidity 

You should let your air conditioner’s fan setting run on high at all times unless it’s a humid day. On humid days, you want to change the fan speed to low. When the air movement is less, your air conditioner is removing a higher amount of moisture from the air.

Use Your Thermostat Wisely 

You may want to start using a programmable thermostat. You may set the temperature higher while you’re at work, and then the thermostat will automatically lower the temperature before you return.

Even if you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you still want to change your settings based on when you’re home and away. At night, you should higher the temperature and open windows or use a fan.

Try to keep the temperature as high as comfortably possible when you are at home.

Don’t try to turn the unit on colder than necessary because it won’t cool your house any sooner. It will, however, raise your energy expenses and cool your home more than necessary.

While the summer months mean pool parties and cookouts, you may dread the heat because of how it impacts your energy bills. You can, however, combat the problem by taking steps to minimize the amount of energy you use when cooling your home.

Schedule a routine maintenance visit with Advanced Heating & Cooling, serving Meridian, ID and the general vicinity, to make sure your AC is working properly and learn more ways to save money on your energy expenses this summer.