Measuring comfort with an expensive electric bill is about as much fun as paying it off—but even in extremely hot places like the Dallas-Fort Worth area, saving money on your cooling costs is definitely possible. Consider the following tips to keep your electric bill low while you stay cool during one of the hottest summers on record:
Replace your air filters regularly
The way air conditioners cool is by removing the local hot air, not just by blowing cool air into your home. If an air filter is dirty, the AC will have a much harder time doing its job and will use more energy trying to cool the area. It’s easy to assume that oppressive heat is the cause of an air conditioner being less effective, but being unable to suck air through a dirty air filter is often the culprit.
Clean the outside AC unit’s condenser coil
To clean your outside air conditioner’s condenser coil, make sure to turn the power off your unit. Ensure that you turn off the circuit breaker your unit is connected to—not just the thermostat—to be safe. Get a water hose and a powerful nozzle that will pump a steady stream of water. Rinse off all the dirt and grime, and watch your unit gain back some pep while you get some dollars back from your electric bill.
Keep the heat out
Beyond just taking care of your AC unit, there are other things you can do to keep out the heat. Make sure to leave all doors, windows, and blinds closed during the summer to keep the sun at bay. For extreme cases, you can caulk various openings so heat won’t penetrate. You can also buy a solar screen to keep solar radiation out for good.
Control the humidity in your home
While air conditioners do a great job of keeping heat out of our homes, they aren’t designed to tackle humidity. Humidity, or moisture in the air, can actually store heat. Getting a dehumidifier is a great way to reduce the moisture in rooms that are especially affected, like attics and upper-floor suites.