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Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Some Basic Tips for Lowering AC Costs This Coming Summer


Summer will arrive fast and the air conditioning systems in your home will switch on to perform their valuable service. 

It’s a service that costs money, however. The compressor in an air conditioner consumes more electricity than almost any other residential appliance with the exception of an electric water heater. The reason you see your electric bills rise in summer is mostly due to running the AC. 

We want to help you save money with your summer cooling, so we’ve put together some basic ways to cut down on what you pay to run your AC. If you need AC repair in Minneapolis, MN, reach out to our team.

ONE: Always schedule maintenance before summer.

If we could only give one piece of advice about lowering AC costs, it would be this. Arranging for our professionals to give your cooling system a full tune-up and inspection will prevent it from suffering a drop in its energy efficiency. Neglecting maintenance will mean at least a 5% efficiency decline and this can soon add up to paying much more than necessary for your comfort. 

TWO: Use natural ventilation when possible.

Whenever the outdoor temperatures start to cool, open up the windows in your house. This allows the hot air in your house to escape to the outside and equalize indoor and outdoor temperatures. The closer your indoor temperature is to the outside, the slower heat will move indoors when the temperatures rise again.

Doing this not only reduces the need for your AC to run, but it also improves indoor air quality. We recommend airing out the house during the cool early evening. You can shut off the AC during this time so it won’t accidentally turn on.

THREE: Use energy-conserving thermostat settings.

We just mentioned that heat gain slows down when the indoor and outdoor temperatures are close. If you raise your thermostat to the highest setting you find comfortable, it will cause heat to enter your home slower and keep the house from getting too hot.

It also makes the air conditioner run less often. The US Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting the thermostat to 78°F during the day when people are home, then raising it by 8–10° at night or when no one is home. 

FOUR: Close doors to unused rooms.

Heat enters a home in many ways, and windows are a prime spot. Shuttering and curtaining windows to lower radiant heat exposure definitely helps. But an even more effective method to keep out extra heat is to shut doors to unused rooms. The heat that gathers in these rooms then won’t spread to the rest of the house. 

FIVE: Schedule AC repairs as soon as you need them.

Few things will make an air conditioner waste more money than having to run with a malfunction. If your air conditioner is making a racket, shutting on and off too often, or giving off weird odors, it needs repair work even if it otherwise is keeping the house cool. When the AC starts losing cooling power or becomes unreliable, don’t sit on the problem—it will get worse and run up your bills at the same time.

Residential Heating and Air Conditioning has served the Twin Cities Since 1991. Schedule service with us today.

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