9 Tips for Saving Money on Your Cooling Bills During the Summer

AC Maintenance in Charlotte, NC

As the weather gets warmer and temperatures rise, many people brace themselves for high utility bills as well. Thankfully, there are many effective options you can implement to save money while keeping your cooling bill low.

1. Get a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is a great idea, especially if your home is empty for hours at a time. These systems allow you to save money on the energy you’ll potentially need to keep your home cool when people are there. During the summer months, it might be tempting to change the thermostat as you feel. However, the constant adjustments make the costs rise more.

A programmable thermostat makes adjustments with a pre-set schedule. Set it to factor in the times when you’re away on vacation, away at the office or asleep in the house. This leads to fewer fluctuations in energy bills. It also leads to less energy usage.

2. Keep Interior Doors and Vents Open

It’s a good idea to keep your interior doors open during the summer months. If you need privacy for a phone call, a change of clothes or a quiet moment, closing the door is fine. However, closed doors lead to a lack of airflow which taxes your AC system.

When there are fewer barriers to entry, cold air flows easily. As a result, the HVAC system doesn’t need to exert as much energy to keep all the rooms cool. Keep the vents open to make sure the air flows as it should.

3. Reduce Oven/Stove Usage

For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. While it’s nice to prepare home-cooked meals every night, consider how often you turn on your oven or stove as it adds more heat. Do your best to create meals that don’t require a lot of reheating or cooking. Consider opting for a single meal-prep day to cut down on how often you’re using heat-generating appliances, or adjust your menu during the warmer months.

4. Set Up Fans and Ice Buckets

It’s a common fact that heat rises. Because of this, it’s normal for a bedroom on the third floor of a home to feel warm while the ground level feels cold. However, this doesn’t mean you need to crank up the air conditioning as this will only make the first floor feel frigid while the third floor is somewhat cool.

Instead, consider setting up a fan in the room that’s the hottest. Get a large bucket of ice to place in front of the fan. Strategically position the fan and the ice bucket so that as the cool air comes from the fan, the ice bucket continues to circulate even colder air. This is best served in smaller rooms with the doors closed. It’s also a temporary fix until you’re able to schedule professional cooling services to improve air circulation throughout the home.

5. Cultivate a Green Thumb with Indoor Plants

If you’d like to keep your house cool during the summer without spiking your cooling bill, it’s time to cultivate a green thumb. Take good care of your houseplants as they can have a direct impact on how cool your home feels. Plants such as the sword fern, spider plant and rubber plant are known for their ability to absorb heat. Keep these types of plants near windows to get the maximum benefits. Aloe vera plants are ideal options to consider as well. They’re also effective in releasing moisture into the air to keep a room cool. Keep in mind that you’ll want to maintain a few plants to experience the impact on a room.

6. Keep Blinds Closed and Hang Blackout Curtains

The sun’s impact is felt throughout the entire year, but it can feel particularly intrusive during the summer. While it’s nice to watch the sun shine through your bedroom window, be mindful of which windows you keep open and for how long.

If you get home after 5 pm, close the blinds of the west-facing windows before you leave in the morning. As the sun sets in the west, those rooms will experience the most direct sunlight. When you do not need sunlight, keep the blinds closed and consider hanging blackout curtains to avoid the heat from the direct sunlight.

7. Clean and Replace Air Filters

When it comes to taking care of your air filters, the best approach involves monthly cleanings and 90-day replacements. To clean your air filter each month, turn off the HVAC system. pull out the filters and either vacuum them with a suction attachment or rinse them off with a water hose outside. If you choose to rinse them off with a water hose, allow them to fully dry before replacing them in the HVAC system. Once three months pass, it’s time to completely replace your air filters. When your air filters are filled with dust, debris and bacteria, it’s going to require more energy for the air to travel through the filter and circulate throughout your home. More energy equates to more usage and a higher bill.

8. Utilize the Benefits of Discount Programs

In many cases, states and local governments offer income-based programs to reduce utility costs. Do your research to find out if you qualify for bill assistance or utility costs discount programs. Bill credits, tax credits and other resources are available. Depending on your county and the energy service providers, you can get energy audits and discover if there are new ways that you can lower your cooling bills. Reach out to your energy service providers, research any opportunities within your county and local government, and fill out the necessary paperwork to reap the benefits.

9. Lower Water Heating Temperature

Most dermatologists admit that hot water isn’t great for the skin. it’s one of the best ways to dehydrate the skin. As it gets hotter outside, bring down the temperature of your water heater a couple of degrees. As you combine a good habit of taking shorter showers with an effort to make those short showers lukewarm or cool, you’ll save money on expenses like standby losses. While the savings are more apparent in an annual review, it’s an effort worth implementing.

Professional Assistance

At Integrity Heating & Cooling, we provide high-quality services for those needing AC maintenance and replacement. Depending on the severity of your AC problems, it may be time to consider installing a new system. In addition to AC services, we offer products and services for heating concerns, indoor air quality and ductwork. Whether it’s for a diagnostic service call, questions or advice, give us a call today to learn how our company can serve you best.