The summer months are no joke in the Cayman Islands. As the temperatures and humidity rise to record levels, families rely on their air conditioners to work harder than ever to stay cool at home. To make matters worse, CUC has warned that there could be significant electricity bill increases this summer due to the rising fuel costs.
In our hot and humid climate, air conditioners can easily contribute to over 50% of our monthly electricity bills. If you’re wondering how to lower air conditioning costs without compromising your home comfort, you’ve come to the right place! Here, we’ll cover the best ways to reduce AC costs.
Replace Air Filters Regularly
Air filters are responsible for trapping dirt, allergens, and other airborne particles that circulate around your house. This not only helps to improve the air quality of your Cayman Islands’ home but also keeps debris from entering the HVAC system.
A fresh filter allows warm and cold air to move freely between your home, ductwork, and air handler, allowing the system to operate efficiently. A dirty or clogged air filter, on the other hand, will restrict airflow and force your system to work harder and use more energy.
We recommend replacing air filters every three months; however, some environments with more dust particles may benefit from filter changes every 30 days. Operating the system with clogged filters places additional stress on the system, effectively raising energy bills.
If you find it hard to stay consistent with your filter replacement, consider starting a quarterly service agreement with a professional service provider.
Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
The right thermostat is the key to saving money with very little effort. The two types of thermostats that can increase your cooling system’s energy efficiency — and, therefore, reduce your AC energy costs — are programmable thermostats and smart thermostats.
A programmable thermostat lets you create a schedule based on your household’s needs and will automatically adjust the indoor temperature to meet the desired settings. For example, when you’re at work and the kids are at school, you can program the thermostat to increase the temperature and give your air conditioner a break.
A smart thermostat can take things one step further. They have all the features of a programmable thermostat and more. In fact, certain models can learn your daily routine and adjust the settings accordingly without needing to be programmed at all. Moreover, many smart thermostats track your energy consumption and provide a monthly report as well as personalized recommendations for saving energy. If you have a zoned system, you can also control which rooms to cool from your smart thermostat.
Learning how to lower air conditioning costs doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. With a programmable or smart thermostat, you can set it and forget it — your new device will do the work for you!
Use Ceiling Fans
An easy way to reduce AC costs is by putting your ceiling fans to use! Most homeowners questions whether it’s okay to run ceiling fans and the air conditioning simultaneously. The answer is yes — it’s encouraged, in fact!
Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that helps you feel cooler despite the room temperature remaining the same. This allows you to raise the thermostat by a few degrees. You’ll hardly notice the difference in the air; your AC unit, on the other hand, will be thankful it doesn’t have to convert a lot of heat into cool air.
Pro Tip: Make sure your ceiling fan blades are spinning counterclockwise in the summer. This pushes cool air down and creates a nice, comfortable breeze.
Seal Windows and Doors
What if all the cool air was escaping your home through holes in your windows and doors? It’s more common than you might think! No matter how hard your air conditioning system works, heat and moisture are constantly making their way in from outdoors. Windows and doors, according to the Department of Energy, are common sources of heat gain.
Thankfully, sealing air leaks is easy and inexpensive — but most importantly, it helps reduce AC costs! You may not even need the help of a professional if you’re handy and have the right tools.
To find air leaks, start by inspecting the windows and doors. Are there any noticeable holes or gaps in the sealing? If not, close them all. Light a candle and move it around the frame of the window or door. Watch closely for any sudden movement of the flame or smoke (if the flame goes out), as this indicates a draft.
You can either caulk or weatherstrip broken seals around your windows and doors. Then sit back, relax, and stop wondering how to lower air conditioning costs; your energy bills will reflect your savings almost immediately.
Reduce AC Costs Even More With Polar Bear
Our tips don’t end here! If you want to learn how to lower air conditioning costs for good, consider an upgrade. Polar Bear is the number one company for air conditioning replacements in the Cayman Islands. Since 1988, our team has been dedicated to one goal: providing a great service and making you say WOW! Our core values of 110% Customer Satisfaction and Integrity prove that we have your best interests at heart.
Contact us today to learn more or schedule a service.