The cost of air conditioning in New England’s balmy summers seems to get higher every year as average temperatures increase. Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to lower your cooling bills this summer, and how ductless HVAC can help you maximize energy savings over time.
1. Don’t Use the Oven
Indoor cooking appliances like your stove and oven generate a lot of heat in your home. This causes your air conditioner to have to work harder to bring the temperature back to what the thermostat has been set at.
If possible, cook outside in the summer, especially on very hot days. The oven generates the most heat, so if grilling out isn’t an option, use the stove, a toaster oven, or a microwave.
2. Cover Your Windows
Sunlight generates heat and while it’s nice to have natural light streaming in through your open blinds, this raises the temperature in your home and puts your HVAC system on double duty.
Covering your windows to reduce the amount of light can lighten your air conditioner’s load inexpensively or for nothing at all depending on how you go about it. You can cover windows with blankets or sheets if you don’t mind the dark, or install a special film on your windows to reduce light without completely blocking it out.
3. Adjust Your Thermostat While You’re Away
If you’re going to be away from your home for any length of time, consider adjusting your thermostat a few degrees higher. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that homeowners can save up to 10% annually on their cooling bills simply by turning down their thermostats by 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours per day.
4. Insulate Your Home
If your home has poor insulation or drafty areas, this allows warm air in your home and cool air out. Over time, this can result in costly energy bills even if you’re doing everything else you can to keep your heating and cooling expenses low. Look for areas that need to be insulated, such as cracks around windows and attics with poor or no insulation.
The better your home’s insulation, the easier it is for your air conditioning system to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter, since the outside elements have a more difficult time getting past well-insulated walls.
5. Change Your Ceiling Fans to Rotate Counterclockwise
Ceiling fans help keep your home comfortable by moving air and creating airflow. Did you know that the direction your fans go in makes a difference in how well they work? In the summer, your ceiling fans should be rotating counterclockwise to help push cool air down. This makes your home feel cooler than it is, allowing you to turn up your thermostat a few degrees and save a little more on your energy bill.
Save Energy by Switching to Ductless AC Today
On top of these easy ways to save energy during the summer, you can cut your cooling costs even more by investing in a ductless HVAC system. Ductless systems don’t generate cool air, but rather simply move it around from the outside to the inside and vice versa. Mitsubishi Electric reports that ductless cooling can save homeowners up to 30-40% on their energy costs.