Summer weather means higher electricity bills for your house. There’s no way to avoid a rise in costs because the compressor that allows an AC to provide cooling draws on a great deal of power when it runs. The average central air conditioning system uses around 3,000 to 3,5000 watts an hour, adjusted up and down depending on the AC’s size. How much this costs you is predicated on the price of electricity in your area.
As a comparison, if you run the AC in “fan only” mode where the compressor does not turn on, it uses 750 watts an hour on average. This will give you an idea of the increase in electrical use that is part and parcel of running an air conditioner.
However, you might be paying more to cool your house than you should. In fact, you likely are, because there are many ways you can pay less for central cooling that don’t mean having to sacrifice your comfort and sweat it out all summer. Below are a few ways to cut down on the high cost of summer cooling.
Raise the thermostat setting to 78°F during the day
This is the recommended energy-saving setting on thermostats from the US Department of Energy. And we agree! If you’ve set your thermostat around 72°F, making this change can mean reducing the AC’s electrical consumption by around 10%. The AC will need to run less, and the house will also gain heat at a slower rate. If 78°F seems too warm, start at a lower temperature and raise it by one degree each day until you become used to the warmer setting.
Always have the AC maintained in spring
You’ll want an Alachua, FL, HVAC company to give your air conditioning system a complete maintenance tune-up and inspection before the summer heat arrives. This prevents the AC from losing energy efficiency (an average of a 5% efficiency drop per year) and costing more to run than it should. Maintenance is all-around great for the AC, so please don’t miss out on this appointment.
Install a whole-house dehumidifier
This is another way our technicians can help you lower cooling costs, and it will also make your house more comfortable in general and combat problems such as water damage and mold growth. Humidity can be oppressive in Florida during the summer, and it makes a hot day feel even hotter—by sometimes 8–10°F. With a whole-house dehumidifier, you’ll take away the extra feeling of heat and need to rely on the AC less.
Use “fan only” mode when possible
As we mentioned above, “fan only” mode consumes only a fraction of the electrical power as when the AC is in cooling mode. When temperatures start to cool down in your house, you can often enjoy decent comfort from just the circulation of air from the central AC’s fan (and your indoor fans can help as well). Give your AC a break during a more sedentary time in your house and just coast on the fan.
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