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Air Conditioning: how to save money on this summer necessity

It’s sweltering outside, so you retreat to the indoors. You have sweat dripping down your back and you can’t keep cool. Your first instinct is to turn on the air conditioning, but every time you hear it running, you hear cha-ching! You want to keep cool without spending a fortune. We’re here to tell you that you can have it both ways! Start saving with help from an air conditioning specialist.

How much does air conditioning cost in the first place?

Before we tell you about the many ways you can enjoy air conditioning without spending a lot of money, it’s important to understand how much air conditioning costs in the first place.

Every air conditioner has what’s called a SEER rating. That’s the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This number determines how efficient your A/C unit is. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit, the less work your A/C has to do. That automatically results in cost savings.

Why? When your unit is anywhere from 10 to 15 years old, it can’t keep up with its job, therefore takes longer to cool your home. The longer it runs, the more money you pay per month.

Below is a chart that outlines – on average – how much it costs to run an air conditioning unit. The chart breaks down cost in different ways:

  • The size of the unit;
  • The SEER rating;
  • How many hours it runs.
Source: HomeAirConditioner.ca.

Source: HomeAirConditioner.ca.

How can you find out if your air conditioner is an efficient one? Talk to an air conditioning specialist! They can help you identify if your unit should be replaced because it’s costing you too much money.

If your air conditioner is a high-efficiency one, that doesn’t mean you can’t cash in on savings. Here are some ways to sneak in savings:

Use a programmable thermostat

If you’re not home for several hours during the day, then why let your air conditioner run all those hours? A programmable thermostat will help you save energy during the day. Here’s how:

  • Set the temperature a few degrees higher during the day since the house will be empty.
  • When you’re back home, lower it to a temperature you’re comfortable with.

Simple programming like this can save you anywhere from five to 15 per cent per year. Keep in mind – this is an average. The rate of savings depends on the size of the unit and how often the A/C is (and in this case, isn’t) running.

How neat are these programmable thermostats?

How neat are these programmable thermostats?

Clean the air filter

The air filters in your A/C are an important part of the unit. Therefore, they need to be replaced every three months to ensure performance. A dirty filter reduces efficiency and uses up energy. See the difference?

A clogged filter can restrict air flow, which costs you money every month.

A clogged filter can restrict air flow, which costs you money every month.

Hire an expert to do a check-up

Before the start of the summer season, have an air conditioning expert inspect your current A/C unit. They’ll be able to identify if repairs should be done prior to the height of the season. Otherwise, you could have a unit that needs repairing and as a result, costs you more money per month.

Don’t know where to look to find a professional in your area? Our database has a full list of air conditioning professionals who can give you some advice. Read through customer reviews to find a professional that’s a good fit for you.

ac_check-up

Keep windows covered

To prevent extra heat from streaming in through the windows, consider having them covered up with window screens or films. They help to prevent energy from getting into the house, which helps your A/C since it won’t have to overcompensate for extra heat reaching into your home. Get ready to feel more comfortable in your home this summer!

Window coverings like drapes and blinds can also block heat from entering the home.

Window coverings like drapes and blinds can also block heat from entering the home.

Retreat to the basement

Finished or unfinished, the basement is naturally cooler than any other part of the house. To escape the heat on the main floor (and that high energy bill), opt to spend more time in the basement. If you’re just watching television or reading a book, it’s a viable option, one that could save a bit of money since you won’t need to run your air conditioner at such a peak temperature.

finished basement

Install ceiling fans

Did you know that a ceiling fan can make you feel anywhere from 3 to 8 degrees cooler? This way, you can turn up the temperature on your A/C and utilize the ceiling fan’s cooling powers instead.

From a cost-perspective, you can purchase one at your local hardware store for as low as $60. Here’s a breakdown of what it will cost you:

Please note: the 12.2 cent price tag per kWh is based on mid-peak pricing. It’s simply an estimate. However, if the average energy bill is $150 per month, then air conditioning can cost up to 40 times more money in comparison to a ceiling fan. How’s that for energy-savings?

ceiling fan

If you’re ready to save money on air conditioning this summer, we can put you in touch with the right professionals to make it happen. From our extensive directory of air conditioning experts to the design and decor specialists at furniture and home accessories stores, you can have a cool home this summer and save money at the same time.

More in Air Conditioning

Need a new A/C? Save $$$ by replacing the furnace too

Dying of heat in the bedroom? There’s an A/C fix for that



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