Lifestyle

How Much Is Your AC Costing You

The fact of the matter is that heating and cooling raise your energy consumption significantly.

1. What Is Costing The Most On Your Utility Bill

Learning about your utility bill implies breaking down the energy use in your home.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that nearly half of all annual energy bills are spent on heating and cooling, making your AC the top major user of energy. The actual percentage you pay will vary depending on your state, the size of your home and your usage

The annual cost of heating and cooling your home can cause your energy bill to skyrocket with the average person spending about 7 percent of their annual income paying for it.

Next is the water heater you typically use for cooking, doing laundry and for bathing, unless you are brave enough to shower with cold water and benefit your health. Heating water is followed by lighting which depends on the type of bulbs you use but usually amounts to around 12%. Washer and dryer take up a similar portion, followed by refrigerator and freezer that work 24/7 and therefore typically account for about 7-10% of your energy bill.

2. Impact of Your AC on Your Utility Bill

Your AC could account for approximately 12% of your total annual home energy expenditures and up to 70% during the hotter summer months. 

You also shouldn’t forget to account for the impact of a larger space. Even if you turn on your HVAC less frequently than the average person, a larger space costs more to properly heat or cool. What will make a big difference is the efficiency of your system and here is how you can assess if your AC is working as it should.

A skyrocketing bill

One of the most obvious signs of AC inefficiency is when your utility bill skyrockets for no apparent reason. When an AC isn’t operating efficiently, it consumes much more energy as it needs to work harder to get the job done.

Frequent cycling

Think of your thermostat as the ‘brain’ behind your AC. Everyday use can cause its mechanism to break which you will notice as it starts to cycle on and off too often. The second reason behind it could be the compressor that needs replacing.

Built up ice

If you see ice on your AC unit, it needs a professional repair as it could be due to a leak in the coolant line or damage to coils. A dirty filter can also wreak havoc.

Unusual sound

Each appliance has its own unique sound so once you hear something out of the ordinary, it’s usually a red flag.

3. How To Make Your AC More Efficient

There are many ways to make your AC more efficient to lower your National Grid Electricity bill.

Proper maintenance

Remember that a little bit of maintenance but done consistently goes a long way. Clean filters regularly and replace them as needed to ensure your AC is working efficiently, but also drastically reduce the chance of system breakdowns or other issues that could lead to costly repairs.

Make sure your home is well insulated

Proper insulation is by far one of the most important energy-saving factors. Drafts mean lost indoor air and less protection from outside temperature that will make your AC work much harder to maintain the desired temperature. Fix any leaks in your attic, around your windows and doors.

Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day

This will prevent the sun’s warm rays from penetrating through windows and heating up your home. 

Use appropriate bedding During warmer months, use light fabrics like cotton or bamboo that will help keep you cooler at night. When it’s cold outside, go for heavier options like flannel and thick blankets.

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