Summer months are full of outdoor barbeques, lawn games, pool parties, and increased utility bills. When temperatures begin to climb into the 90s, it’s not uncommon for monthly utility bills to climb above $200 monthly. Talk about a budget buster!
So how can you stay comfortable, while avoiding excessive bills? Here are three “smart” ways to help reduce your electricity consumption without compromising your comfort.
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How To Reduce Electricity Consumption Of Your Air Conditioner
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Smart thermostats first came on the scene in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2011 that Nest Labs developed a much more advanced thermostat labelled the Nest Learning Thermostat. Nest upgraded the technology and enabled a WiFi connection which in turn allows for a self-learning thermostat that efficiently controls the temperature levels to conserve energy.
Despite the incredible technology presented in smart thermostats, only an estimated 13% of U.S. broadband households own a smart thermostat as of late 2019 (source).
Like most new technologies, it takes time to go from a brand-new category to a household name. Nest seems to be paving the way in this arena as they have nearly 15,000 customer reviews on the Nest T3007ES.
Here are a few benefits of as mentioned by Nest:
- Auto-Schedule temperatures based on self-learning.
- Connect with with your smartphone, laptop or tablet to change temperatures, see usage and track energy savings.
- Auto-Adjust house temperatures when you are away for extended periods of time.
Can’t afford a Nest unit? Well there are cheaper wifi thermostats available.
Install Mistbox to Improve A/C Efficiency
If you are looking for a more creative way to cool your home, Mistbox could be a good solution. Mistbox is a product that connects to your A/C unit and sprays a fine mist in the air, cooling the intake air and dramatically improving your air conditioner’s efficiency.
The concept of Mistbox is actually used in other applications, which demonstrates the validity to the general idea. For example, if you go to downtown Phoenix, where it is VERY HOT, there are misting machines, which provides an efficient outdoor cooling solution.
Mistbox has a compelling website where you can calculate your estimated savings based on your typical summer cooling costs. They also have several videos explaining how the product works.
Here are a few benefits as listed on their website.
- Reduce your A/C bills by up to 30%.
- Track your savings through a smartphone app.
- Decrease the wear and tear on your A/C
The pricing model is where things get a little tricky. You lease product (lifetime warranty) and pay a monthly subscription. All plans are prepaid and the longer you commit to the service the more you save. A 3-year commitment is about $300 total, which could be well worth it, especially if you live in a hot climate.
Practice Common Sense
Not all “smart” solutions for improved electricity consumption on your air conditioner require fancy technology gadgets. Practicing good, common sense, can potentially save you hundreds of dollars on utility bills while also extending the life of your A/C unit.
It almost goes without saying but having annual maintenance checks by an HVAC company will help with cooling efficiency and will help keep your system running through the thick of summer.
Another solution, which is very easy and practical is to clean your A/C unit at least 1-2 times per season and possibly more. Depending on where you live, things like cottonwood or leaves can get sucked into the sides of the air conditioner, which requires the unit to work harder to account for the extra debris. Simply, take a garden hose and spray your air conditioner from top to bottom to clean off the unwanted material.
It’s also a good idea to look for leaks around windows, doors and garage doors. Be sure to caulk the gaps, and if needed, install a two-sided door draft stopper to help keep the cool air in your house and not your neighborhood.
Finally, consider getting an energy audit. These audits are done by an HVAC company where they perform tests to evaluate your home’s efficiency (or lack thereof). You can also expect to receive practical tips to help improve your home’s electricity consumption. (It should be noted that some utility companies could provide a rebate to you for completing an energy audit. Just be sure to check with your utility provider before you purchase the audit.)
Keeping your house cool in the summer without breaking your budget can be a challenge. But don’t fret, implementing a few strategic changes to your home could radically improve the efficiency of your system while also lowering your monthly cooling bill.