With rising energy costs the power bill is top of every homeowner’s mind. In fact, it is estimated that Americans will pay more than $22 billion this year in air conditioning bills alone. With all of that money going out the window – here are some tips for keeping your home cool this summer:
The right size. When you are shopping for a new air conditioning unit, make sure to keep in mind what size you need. If you buy a unit that is too small, it will have to work extra hard to keep the area cool. And, if you buy one that is too big, you will be wasting valuable energy. Air conditioners are sized using a measurement in BTUs – the higher the BTU the more powerful the air conditioner. For instance, an air conditioner that rates 8,000 BTUs can cool a room that is approximately 350 square feet. In addition to cooling the room air conditioners also help to manage humidity levels. If the air conditioner is too big for the room, it will remove too much humidity and the room will feel dry and could cause sinus discomfort.
The right combination. Running an air conditioner to keep your home is effective, however, combining an air conditioner with a ceiling fan is even more effective. Ceiling fans cost less than one penny per hour to run and have an immediate impact on the temperature of a room. In fact, for a relatively small investment of around $45 per fan your room can be a full eight degrees cooler.
The right price. When you are shopping for a new air conditioner make sure to pay attention to the energy star sticker on the box that tells you how much the unit will cost you to run it. This number is just as important in comparison shopping as the purchase price of the unit. If you have had your air conditioner for more than ten years, it is probably time to think about getting a new one. Just as technology moves quickly so does energy-efficiency and the newer the model of air conditioner that you have the more energy efficient it is. In fact, the US Department of Energy estimates that in the span of ten years, newer model air conditioners are improved to save 10% more energy than their older counterparts.
Although it is still spring, the weather is steadily heating up and soon it will be the time of year that we run the air conditioner all day. Keep these tips in mind for reducing the cost of your power bill.