Suffering from the utility bill blues? 7 things to do right now to save money.
If you’re one of those people who want to pull your hair out when it’s time to pay the utility bill, then this article is for you. We’re going to take a look at some really simple things you can do. We may delve into more complicated issues in future articles, but we thought these would be good tips to get you started. They’re easy and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to do and you’ll see the benefits if you’re consistent.
1. Turn the AC Down at Night: During the night you don't need the same level of cool. Try turning your AC down during the hours that you’re asleep or, if your unit has a "sleep mode" which lowers the output on a timer, use it. 2. Close Some Vents: The basement is traditionally the coolest room in the home, so try closing all the vents in the lower portion of your home. The cool air will naturally make its way down there and by closing those vents, you’ll force all the air to the upper levels first, cooling the house as it comes down. 3. Service Your Unit: Some basic maintenance might be all your air conditioner needs, but most will greatly benefit from a good cleaning, especially if you're surrounded by trees like Cottonwoods that drop seeds which stick to the filters and make the unit work harder.
4. Check Your Ducts: Many homes have duct work running through the attic, where you don’t need AC. Make sure that all of those ducts are properly insulated. This will keep the cool air coming to where you need it most. Nobody wants to pay for lukewarm air.
5. Rearrange Your Furniture: Furniture directly in front of air conditioning vents means you could be cooling the back of a chair or the bottom of your sofa. There are plastic pieces you can buy for your vents to help redirect the air, but the easiest way is to just rearrange your furniture, even if its temporary. Don't forget about the return air ducts as they need to properly return the hot air and blocking them with furniture is very bad for your system.
6. Lights: Turning lights off can help reduce your heat, but paying attention to how much light you let in from open windows can also play a significant role. Although it might seem neurotic to open and close your windows or shades every day with the rising and setting of the sun, it makes a huge difference in how much heat your AC is competing against.
7. Use Fans: Air conditioners keep things cool, but a little help from a few supplemental fans doesn't hurt. Use them to circulate the cool air throughout the house and you won’t need quite as much pumped into the room. They use less energy than your air conditioner unit, so having them around as backup is a great idea.