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Use Less Energy, Pay Lower Utility Bills with These 5 Tips on A/C Usage

Published on: August 23, 2012

With the hot summer and the soaring price of electricity, many property owners are paying much more than expected for air conditioning. Whether you’re worried about the cost of air conditioning in your home or your business, chances are that you can lower your electricity bill without having to replace your existing air conditioning system.

Try these five strategies to lower your cooling costs:
1. Only pay for air conditioning when and where it’s needed.
2. Never air condition when it’s cooler outside than inside.
3. Cut down on solar gain.
4. Arrange for regular ac maintenance.
5. Don’t air condition for men in suits.

Only pay for air conditioning when and where it’s needed

If you’re cooling your entire house or facility every time you switch the air conditioning system on at the thermostat, then you need to think about zoned cooling.

The more adjustable your cooling controls are, the greater the potential savings. Never cool unoccupied areas without good reason, and allow users to adjust the temperature to their individual comfort levels.

Never air condition when it’s cooler outside than inside

Operable windows and economizers are there for a reason: it’s a waste of energy and money to run the air conditioning system when it’s hotter inside than it is outside. This is more common than you may think. Human bodies, lights and mechanical systems all conspire to raise the indoor temperature, and solar gain can add to the problem.

Make sure that your air conditioning system has economizers: vents that automatically open up and provide exterior air when it makes sense to do so. If you’re not sure that your economizers are working, then bring in an expert to perform some ac maintenance.

If your windows are operable, then opening both the lower windows and the clearstory windows will bring in a steady stream of cool air while venting warm air to the exterior.

Cut down on solar gain

Solar gain occurs when the sun’s energy radiates through glass or is conducted through walls and roofs, and it can be responsible for a large portion of your cooling load.

To cut down on solar gain, you can:

Provide light-colored or reflective window coverings.Use a light-colored roof membrane, or paint the roof white or silver.Paint your walls, especially south-facing walls, a light color.Plant trees or tall hedges near your south-facing walls.

Arrange for regular ac maintenance

Regular ac maintenance means that your cooling system’s filters are kept clean, and that your air conditioning system is kept in good repair. Your economizers should be fully functional. An HVAC company can keep your ac maintenance up to date and your system running at peak efficiency.

Don’t air condition for men in suits

Finally, dress for the season and keep the air conditioning system set at a reasonable temperature. If you run a business, then relax the dress code to allow for seasonally appropriate attire.