When temperatures start to climb, Minnesota homeowners have two primary goals: 1) staying cool, and 2) staying cool without breaking the bank. We made a list of some simple steps you can take throughout the season to save money on your summer energy bills without sacrificing comfort.
Upgrade old air conditioners.
Air conditioners last about 15 years, but recent improvements in technology make today’s units much more energy efficient than older models. Investing in a new model may seem daunting, but will save you money in the long run. Look for models labeled with Energy Star ratings. Energy Star products consume up to 50% less energy than other models.
Install a programmable thermostat.
With a programmable thermostat, you can schedule timers to raise the temperature in your home while you’re away at work during the day, then cool it back down in time for you to come home at night. You’ll save money by not wasting energy cooling your house when you’re not home to benefit.
Change air filters.
Remembering to change your air filters on a monthly basis will improve the efficiency of your unit, using less energy to maintain performance.
Shield your unit.
Protecting your unit from the heat of the sun with shade such as shrubbery, a tree, or even an awning can reduce the amount of energy it needs to consume and improve overall operation. However, beware of fallen branches or leaves from natural shade. This debris can get into your system and impede performance or even cause permanent damage to the unit.
Keep vents clean and clear.
Clean and open vents allow air to flow freely through your home, without carrying dirt, dust, or other allergens. Vents can be accidentally closed and forgotten during other cleaning tasks, so if one room in particular feels overly warm, make sure to check the vents before calling your HVAC provider.
Put ceiling fans to good use.
Hot air rises, pushing cool air to the floor. To maximize the effectiveness of your air conditioner, make sure your ceiling fans are doing their part. Check that the blades lead with the higher edge when they spin, dispelling hot air downward and dispersing the cool air gathered toward the floor so that it circulates throughout the room.
Even simple changes can improve the performance of your air conditioning unit, allowing you to save money without having to cut back.