By George Touloumis

5 Ways to Stay Cool and Save 100s of Dollars on Your AC this Summer

  • Do the numbers on your utilities bills skyrocket every summer? Are you tired of emptying out your wallet every time summer rolls around? You may have given up by now and surrendered to your utilities company because this alternative seems better than melting away in your home for the entirety of the summer. However, stop your thinking right there- throughout my career working in air conditioning installation, repair, and service I have come up with a cheat sheet for how you can beat the heat this summer.

    The Air Conditioning Summer Savings Cheat Sheet

    1. Get your central air unit serviced once a year.

    While you may be unaware of the inefficiencies of your air conditioning system, it is highly probable that it is not running at its highest efficiency. Actually, in my years of working in air conditioning service and repair I have found that most air conditioning units decline in deficiency by 5-10% each year. To avoid the increase in cost that is associated with a decrease in efficiency of the unit, call an air conditioning company to get your unit serviced before every summer. Some servicing practices include cleaning the condensing unit coils, checking the operating of the thermostat regulator to make sure that it is calibrated properly, and lubricating the moving parts throughout the unit. The small cost you will have to pay for servicing will end up saving you money in the end because decreased efficiency of your unit will keep driving up the cost of your utilities bill.

    2. Install a programmable system, if you haven’t already.

    Depending on how old your current central air unit is, you may or may not already have a programmable thermostat attached to your air conditioning system. These units are wonderful for saving energy, because you can program it to alter the temperature in your home throughout the day. For example, during the summer months you can program your unit to be at a cool temperature during the late afternoon and night time when everyone is home, and can program it to be warmer during the day while everyone is at work or school. This can prevent you from coming home to an overheated home at the end of the workday, because you can program it to decrease temperature before you even get home, and it will also end up saving you money. If you want to get even fancier, some Smart units allow you to control the temperature of your home from an app on your phone! Check out your options before switching your system, but definitely opt for an add-on programmable unit next time you’re trying to shave money off your utilities bill.

    3. Close any curtains, blinds, or window coverings that you have in your home.

    Some think that this method doesn’t actually work, but believe me, it makes a difference! During the summer months, the sun is continuously beating on your home, which ends up warming up the temperature inside your home. This is an easier fix than those previously mentioned, because all it requires is closing any curtains or blinds that you have in your home. If you’re the type of person that enjoys natural light in your home during the day, you can instead alter which blinds or curtains are open depending on where the sun is in the sky. For example, since the sun rises in the east, make sure the blinds on the east side of your home are closed in the early morning, when the sun will be beating directly through the windows. Also, keep blinds open on cool summer nights to allow some heat to escape your home and cool air to circulate through.

    4. Replace the filters in your air conditioning unit every month during warmer months.

    This tip is similar to servicing your air conditioning unit, in that it refers to increasing efficiency of your unit. However, it is an easier fix because it is something that you can do on your own. The filters on your air conditioning unit build up dust and dirt over time, which makes them run less efficiently. Therefore, to ensure that your air conditioning unit is running at its highest efficiency during summer months when it is on the most, make sure to replace the filters monthly. If you have pets in your home, this is especially important, because the air conditioning filter sucks up air from your home as it’s working, and hair from pets can accelerate how quickly your filter gets dirty.

    5. Don’t turn it off!

    I get this question many times from customers, as there are many myths floating around about if you should keep your unit on or off during summer months while you are not home to save money. The fact of the matter is that if you turn your unit completely off while you are gone in an effort to save money, you will need to turn the unit on higher than usual when you get home because of how hot your home will be after having the air conditioning off all day. Instead, you should use your programmable thermostat to slightly increase the temperature in your home while you aren’t there, so that when you do get home you won’t have to put the system on full blast to cool your home quickly.

    About the Author

    George Touloumis is the owner and founder of Stay Cool Heating and Air Conditioning. He has over 25 years of experience in the air conditioning industry, and provides many services to help cool your home in the summer without emptying your wallet. Call Stay Cool HVAC at Call 908-272-2149 this summer to service your air conditioning unit to increase the efficiency and lower the cost of cooling your home for the summer.