8 Ways To Lower Your AC Costs In Southwest
Oklahoma This Summer
Saving Money On Your Energy Bills
Has Never Been Easier
Summer months in Oklahoma can be brutally hot, with soaring temperatures, stifling humidity, and dry weather conditions. As the temperature rises, so does your air conditioning bill.
Similar to how the refrigerator works, a traditional HVAC unit uses a refrigerant to cool your home by extracting warm air and circulating it through a series of coils. The warm air is released outside, and the cooled air is circulated back into your home.
The process is relatively efficient during mild weather. But when the temperature outside starts to climb, your unit must work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, using more energy and driving up your utility costs. This extra work strains your HVAC unit, potentially leading to a malfunction or breakdown.
So, how do you keep your home cool this summer without breaking the bank?
Here are eight tips to help you reduce your air conditioning costs in Southwest Oklahoma:
1. Clean Or Replace Your Air Filters Regularly
As air circulates through your home, it picks up dust, pollen, and other airborne particles, which then get trapped in your air filter. A dirty filter not only limits the airflow to your unit, making it work harder and less efficiently, but it can also lead to indoor air quality issues.
According to the Department of Energy, replacing a clogged filter can improve your HVAC system’s efficiency by 5–15%. To ensure your unit operates as efficiently as possible, check your air filter monthly and clean or replace it as needed.
When buying new filters, check for the MERV or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, a scale that rates the overall effectiveness of air filters. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter will be at trapping smaller particles.
2. Avoid Using Appliances That Generate Heat
Appliances like ovens, dishwashers, clothes dryers and computers generate heat and cause your air conditioner to work harder. So, whenever possible, use these appliances in the evening when it’s cooler outside.
3. Schedule Annual Maintenance For Your Unit
Just like your car, your air conditioning unit needs regular maintenance to ensure it’s operating at peak performance. A well-maintained unit lasts longer and breaks down less often, saving you money on costly repairs.
At a minimum, you should have your unit serviced once a year before spring by a licensed HVAC company technician.
During a tune-up, the technician will:
- Clean the coils and fins on your outdoor unit
- Lubricate moving parts
- Check refrigerant levels
- Inspect electrical components
- Clean and adjust the blower motor and belt
- Test the unit’s safety control
4. Insulate Your Home
Proper insulation in your attic, walls, and floors will help keep you cool. There are a variety of insulation materials available, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your needs. For example, in Oklahoma, you’ll want to use a material that has a high R-value, which measures its ability to resist heat flow.
5. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Adjusting your thermostat just one degree can save up to 5% on your cooling costs. So, if you’re not using a programmable thermostat, now is the time to invest in one.
Programmable thermostats let you customize your temperature settings for different times of the day. For example, you can set the temperature higher during the day when everyone is at work or school and lower it in the evening when everyone is home.
Some programmable thermostats can even be controlled remotely via a smartphone or tablet, meaning you can adjust the temperature on the go. Adjusting your thermostat just one degree can save up to 5% on your cooling costs.
6. Use Ceiling Fans
In addition to circulating the air in your home, ceiling fans can also help to keep you cool. When used with your air conditioner, ceiling fans help distribute cool air more efficiently and evenly throughout your home.
You can also lower the temperature in your home and save energy by closing your blinds, curtains, and shades during the day to keep the sun’s heat out.
7. Seal Air Leaks
One of the biggest sources of wasted energy in homes is air leaks. To find out if your home has air leaks, do a quick check around doors and windows. If you feel a draft, that’s an indication that there’s an air leak.
To seal air leaks, you can use foam weather-strip kits or caulk. Weather-stripping is a quick and easy way to seal gaps around doors, while caulk is best for sealing cracks and gaps in larger areas like around windows.
8. Upgrade To An Energy-Efficient Unit
If your AC is over ten years old, it’s probably time to upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient model. Newer units use less electricity and are better at cooling your home, so you’ll save money on your energy bills.
When shopping for a new unit, look for one with the Energy Star label. This label indicates that the unit meets certain energy-efficiency standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Robinson Air Keeps You Cool All Summer Long
At Robinson Air, we’re committed to helping our customers protect their homes and save money. Whether you need routine AC maintenance, a repair, or a new air conditioner, we’re here to help.
Our experienced technicians’ service all makes and models of air conditioners, heating systems, heat pumps, and boilers. We also offer a variety of energy-efficient units that can help you save hundreds of dollars.