California frequently finds itself on the list of states with the highest energy rates in the nation. At an average of just under 20 cents per kilowatt hour in March of this year, the Golden State found itself ranked 7th in terms of the highest energy costs in the country, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Plus, with summer fully upon us and people everywhere turning to their air conditioners to stay cool, people everywhere are going to get the unpleasant surprise of a sky-high electric bill over the next several weeks.
If you’re like most people, you’d love to avoid one of these outrageous invoices if possible, but do you want to sacrifice your in-home comfort to do it? The good news is you may not have to; by making a few changes to how you run your air conditioner and utilizing some tips and tricks to help keep your home cool, you may be able to enjoy a cooler and more comfortable home without paying the literal price to do so.
Keep Your Blinds Closed
During the heat of the day, the sun provides heat in many forms. This includes thermal energy from light, which can pour through your windows and heat up your home. If you have older single-pane windows, this combines with heat transfer through your glass to create an abundance of heat that’s going to drive you to fire up your air conditioner to stay comfortable. However, simply cutting off this flow of heat by using blinds, shades, or curtains can help tremendously with keeping costs down. This is particularly true for shades or curtains that have white or other light-colored reflective surfaces to bounce and heat back out through your window and back into the atmosphere. It may not seem that appealing to keep bright, beautiful sunlight out of your home, but not doing so could prove to be costly in the long run.
Avoid Using Rooms With Excessive Sun Exposure
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west every day, and follows a path across the sky down to the south. This means rooms which directly face east, southeast, southwest, and west will mostly likely have some point during the day where they’re being pummeled by sunlight and heat. Containing this heat by shutting doors helps keep the rest of your home cool. Obviously this may not be practical if the room in question is your kitchen, living room, or bathroom, but doing what you can to keep any heat from these areas contained while the sun is shining brightly upon them can reduce the need to turn on your air conditioner and cool the rest of your home.
Use the Cooler Outdoor Air at Night
One way to keep your energy costs down is to simply not use any energy that you don’t have to. You may be surprised just how comfortable fresh outdoor air can keep your home after the sun goes down. Whereas daytime hours in our desert climate can send temperatures surging into triple digits, night time hours can see them fall back down to the 70s, which is perfect for keeping your home feeling great. Consider sleeping with windows cracked open and use standing or ceiling fans to continue to cycle air through your home. You may be surprised to find just how comfortable you can be while using on a tiny fraction of the energy that your central heating and cooling system did.
Maintain Your Air Conditioner
If you want to keep costs down while staying cool, doing whatever you can to make your air conditioner more efficient is going to make a huge difference in your monthly bills. A professional maintenance service preps your air conditioner for the long months of use ensures minimal friction with moving parts, connections are tight, and coils and other important pieces are clean. This not only encourages smoother operation with less chance of a breakdown, but also means your system is going to use less energy when running as normal, meaning greater savings on your monthly bills.
Schedule your maintenance service or get the repair you need if your system has broken down this summer by calling All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical at (909) 253-0664 today.