Lately, the summer heat in Central PA has been brutal, and the cost of keeping your home comfortable can take its toll on your utility bill. In the U.S., air conditioning costs homeowners $11 billion per year and accounts for roughly six percent of the entire year’s energy use. Check out these tips and tricks from JK Mechanical to lowering your cooling costs without sacrificing on comfort.
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat
Programmable or learning thermostats allow you to automatically adjust the temperature in your home when it is vacant, keeping temperatures at an efficient setting and saving you money. New models such as the Nest Learning Thermostat or the Ecobee with Alexa can even be controlled remotely from your smartphone or with your voice, giving you even more control over your energy usage. According to EnergyStar, a smart thermostat can save an average of 10-12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling cost, and can quickly pay for itself.
- Check for sufficient insulation
Air leakage allows conditioned air to leave your home and causes your air conditioner to work harder to cool the home. Stopping the flow of air leaking in and out of your home is a cost-effective way to cut the price of cooling and maximize the functionality of your air conditioning system.
- Maintain your AC System
A clean air conditioner is the most efficient air conditioner. Be sure and schedule regular cleanings with your JK Mechanical technician to keep the filters, coils, and housing in tip-top shape. Also check your air filter between cleanings; the average home needs a new filter every 3 months (depending on the size, model, and home factors).
- Grow your own shade
Planting shrubs and trees, especially on the south and west-facing sides of the house and shading your windows, will block the sunlight and provide the greenest and most natural form of insulation while also beautifying your home.
- Consider upgrading your home comfort system
High energy bills and sluggish or insufficient cooling may be a sign that it’s time to replace your home comfort system. JK Mechancical’s expert Home Comfort Consultants provide free estimates and can help evaluate whether a new air conditioner is a smart investment for your home.
- Install a Solar Attic Fan
Solar Attic Fans are small, solar-powered fan units that mount through your roof or gable and into your attic, where the sun beating down on the roof can over-heat the air. Solar or PV fans run on clean, renewable sun power and pull superheated air out of your attic to be replaced by cooler outside air. What’s more, through the end of 2019, Energy Star-rated solar attic fans still qualify for a federal tax credit of 30 percent of your purchase and installation costs. Request your free quote today from JK Electrical.
- Block the sun
Blinds, drapes, and other window coverings aren’t just décor; when used efficiently, they can also help cut the heating and cooling load on your home. According to EnergyStar, when blinds or light-blocking drapes are used to properly cover a window with lots of sun exposure, they can reduce your heat gain by up to 45%.