How to Save Money on Your AC Bills
Those lazy summer days have begun! While the warmer weather is a welcome change, a less-welcome part of summer can be costly AC bills. Don’t let rising AC costs keep you from enjoying your summer! Follow these pro tips from the team at Blue Flame and learn how to save money on your AC bills.
1. Shade Your House from UV Rays
Did you know that 75% of sunlight that hits a standard window passes through to the interior and adds heat? While this has disturbing implications for your AC bill, some smart shading can help reduce these solar heat gains.
- Add interior shades, blinds, or curtains that are designed to block UV rays. To avoid sacrificing natural light, we recommend roller shades. Made from mesh, these shades come in varying levels of opacity, and can block UV rays without blocking natural light.
- For shade that will not block out natural light, consider adding awnings over south and west-facing windows to block out the sun. Retractable awnings are a particularly good option, as they allow you to let some natural heat from the sun into your home during colder months.
- Another great way to add some shade and curb appeal to your home is installing shutters.
*Pro Tip: Plant leafy trees around your house to provide some additional shade. We recommend using native plants that will stand a greater chance of surviving. You can also add some trees or shrubs to shade your air conditioner and increase its efficiency by up to 10%!
2. Use Ceiling Fans
While a ceiling fan doesn’t necessarily cool a room, it can make it feel more comfortable by dispersing the cooled air from your AC unit more efficiently. As a result, you can raise your thermostat and lower your AC costs.
3. Avoid Solar Heat Gain with a Cool Roof
Upgrading to a cool roof is a great way to heat-proof your home. Large amounts of solar heat can be gained through roof surfaces. According to the EPA, the temperature of roof surfaces can climb 50-90 degrees higher than the air temperature. You can upgrade to a cool roof by applying a special type of reflective paint. You can also install a single-sheet-like covering of reflective material or apply heat-proof tiles and shingles to your roof.
4. Add Some Protective Film Covers
You can reduce up to 70% of solar heat gain by installing reflective film covers on your windows. We recommend adding these films to east and west-facing windows. Although these are fantastic tools for reducing solar heat gain, windows must be shut for the film covers to be effective. You can also add solar screens on your windows to keep sun and insects out, even with the windows open.
5. Keep Up with Your AC Maintenance
One of the best ways to ensure your AC stays efficient is to keep up with regular maintenance. You can do this by committing to changing the filters every 2-3 months and keeping the outside unit clean and free of debris. Also, you should keep your unit level to ensure condensation drains properly.
6. Adjust Your Fan Speed to the Humidity Levels
The U.S. Department of Energy submits that it is best to put the AC fan speed on low for humid days. With the air moving slower through the AC equipment, more moisture from your home’s air can be removed.
7. Invest in a Smart Thermostat
While a programmable thermostat is already a step toward lower AC bills, a smart thermostat has specific algorithms that allow it to learn and adjust to your habits and preferences. With this ability, smart thermostats can automatically adjust your settings accordingly. Another benefit is being able to control your thermostat settings remotely from your smartphone, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or a Wi-fi connection.
Want to Discover More Ways to Save? Call Your Local HVAC Professionals
Now that you know how to save money on your AC bills, allow a Blue Flame expert to make these savings a reality! Beat the summer heat and high AC bills by calling us today at (206) 388-5667.